April 14, 2024
Horse Racing

7 Things to Do in the 2023 Kentucky Derby

7 Things to Do in the 2023 Kentucky Derby

Horseracing fans are looking forward to the 2023 Kentucky Derby this coming May 6 at the Churchill Downs, Louisville, Kentucky. This year’s Run for the Roses will feature the fastest three-year-old thoroughbreds that have conquered the prep races and earned enough points to race in the Derby.

Racing fans worldwide will flock to the venue on the first Saturday of May to witness the race and experience the Kentucky Derby firsthand. Many first-time guests will be there, too, and to help them navigate the venue and make the most of their experience, here’s a list of things you can do in the 2023 Kentucky Derby.

Taste of Derby

Taste of the Derby is an elite cocktail party open to the public. It will happen on April 25, 2023, at the Louisville Slugger Field. You can purchase tickets at the entrance to the party. You can also purchase tickets in advance for $80.

This year will be the 220th Taste of the Derby Festival. Guests of the event will get the chance to taste different appetizers, main courses, and dessert items from over 50 restaurants and beverage companies in Louisville.

Guests will also enjoy the silent auction, bourbon tasking, and wine tasting during the event. The proceeds of these activities will go to the Dare to Care Food Bank.

Bet at the Derby

Horseracing is a heavily wagered sport across the world. The Kentucky Derby is the first leg of the annual Triple Crown Series and the most-watched equestrian sport in the US.

Many sports bettors would try their luck on the Kentucky Derby since it promises a hefty amount of purse money. Bettors can try standard wagers like win, place, and show bets. They can also try exotic bets like exacta, trifecta, and superfecta. These bets have varied levels of difficulty and amount of payouts.

To make the most of the Kentucky betting experience, study the participating horses and jockeys in advance, learn tips and stay updated with the FanDuel horse racing trends, and place a combination of the bets we’ve mentioned above.

Try Mint Julep

Over 120,000 mint juleps are sold in the Kentucky Derby every year. The mint julep is the official cocktail drink of the event. It’s made of crushed ice, fresh mint, sugar, and bourbon. It’s a must-try drink for first-time racegoers in the Kentucky Derby. These drinks are served in special glasses with the names of the Kentucky Derby champions. Guests can take these glasses home and keep them as souvenirs from the event.

Dress Up

The Kentucky Derby is known for its beautifully-dressed guests. It’s one of the few races with the most fashionable attendees. The guests’ outfits in the Derby are largely full of floral designs, fascinating patterns, and vibrant colors.

You can look for inspiration in the previous outfits worn by celebrities. Female guests often opt for a modest dress paired with an extravagant or simple hat to highlight an over-the-top dress. For the gentlemen, a suit and plain pants would do. They would often pair it with an old-school boater or a classic fedora.

Hot Air Balloons

If you’re looking to attend an event for the entire family, the Great Balloon Festival is the best affair for you. It is composed of four events, with the main event being the Great Balloon Race. The first Balloon Race took place at Iroquois Park in the year 1973.

seven balloons were featured in the first Great Balloon Race. Today, it has become one of the most sought-after events in the Kentucky Derby Festival.

The official venue for the event is the Kentucky Exposition Center. There’s a big event called Great Balloon Glow, where lit-up hot air balloons will race against each other in the sky. There’s also a mini version of the event called Great Balloon Glimmer. Anyone could attend the event. You will only have to pay the parking fee at the venue.

Hot Browns

Hot Browns are one of Louisville’s most popular local dishes. It’s a staple food among locals, making it a must-try for foreign guests at the Kentucky Derby.

It was invented by Chef Fred Schmidt in 1926. He was a resident chef at The Brown Hotel. Hot Browns is an open-faced turkey sandwich with rich Mornay sauce. It is traditionally topped with tomatoes, parsley, and bacon.


Burgoo is a traditional communal Kentucky dish like hot browns. It’s a hearty, delectable stew with vegetables, meat, and rich barbecue sauce. The name was derived from the mispronunciation of bird’s stew or barbecue.

In the early 1800s, burgoo was first served in livestock sales. This is where people gather to buy and sell animals. Traveling cooks saw an opportunity to sell burgoo in these events until it became popular today.

Final Thoughts

The Kentucky Derby, also known as the Run for the Roses, is among avid racegoers’ most anticipated events throughout the year. They would wait until the first Saturday of May to witness the highly-spirited three-year-olds as they raced against each other in the Churchill Downs Racetrack.

Many surprises await you in the race— whether a big long shot winning the race or an encounter with your favorite celebrities.

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