Saturday, May 9, 2009

Derby Hats!

When you think of the tradition of the Kentucky Derby, all of the little things that make it what it is, one thing sure to come to mind are Derby hats.

Women in the grandstands and millionaires row sip mint juleps and gossip under their massive signature hats. Each is individual, a reflection of the wearer. If you’ve ever seen the E! show The Girls Next Door, they had a Derby episode where Holly made her own hats with My Little Pony’s on it. Many women this year went for something a bit more traditional.

There is a gallery posted on that has 24 hats featured at the 2009 Derby. Pink and feathers seemed to be in this year, maybe because of the pink theme for the Oaks that benefited the Susan G. Komen foundation. Here are a few of the hats:

Friday, May 1, 2009

The Great Steamboat Race

They say the Kentucky Derby is the fastest two minutes in sports. There is another Derby-time race that not everyone knows about, and it lasts a little longer than two minutes- and it’s a little biased. The race I’m talking about is the Great Steamboat Race held Wednesday.
If you’ve never heard of it, the Great Steamboat Race pits the Belle of Louisville against the Belle of Cincinnati and they race down the Ohio River. Call it hometown advantage, but somehow the Belle of Louisville wins almost every year, and this year was no exception. The Belle of Louisville always seems to cut corners and sometimes even gets a ride from a tugboat to pull her ahead.
This year was different- instead of a traditional race, the two boats had a scavenger-hunt type competition that was all about collecting points, which they earned by completing different tasks. One task was picking up a barrel of bourbon, and a special passenger- the Belle of Louisville got the Louisville cardinal mascot at Cox Park.
Crowds line the Ohio River on both the Kentucky and Indiana side to watch the boats go by, but the best place to be is on one of the boats. Passengers on the boats have live music, good food, and of course, Kentucky bourbon. I road on the Belle of Louisville one year in high school, and it really does beat sitting on the banks.
The Belle of Louisville won with 77 points and the Belle of Cincinnati got a measily 22 points.

Check out the Courier-Journal’s article:

The Belle of Louisville’s site:

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Derby Shopping

The Derby isn’t just fun- it’s good for Louisville’s economy as well. The Courier-Journal wrote an article ( about how local businesses are profiting off the Derby. Everyone knows those fabulous hats aren’t free!

Stilettos can be a girl’s best friend and worst enemy (hello long legs and sore feet!) but three local boutiques are carrying a cool item that will come in handy at all the derby events. Women know not to walk through grass in pointy heels. They sink in and get muddy. Many of the Derby events are at least partly in grassy areas, so you see the problem. This little cap goes on the bottom of the heel to make it wider so it won’t sink in the grass. Sounds ingenious, but will they match the shoe? I’d have to see them in person to find out for sure. The picture shoes a black product with a black heel. What about my pink polka dot heels?

Next up is PINK, my favorite color. Several local stores, including the Fashion Post, Parallel 38 and the Peppermint Palm are donating some of their proceeds to the Susan G. Koman cancer foundation on specific days and times.

Check out the article for other shopping events and find out where you can get other fun Derby goodies, including the famous Derby hats and Derby Christmas ornaments.

Volunteering and Scooping Poop

Who wants to scoop poop in front of thousands of people? Well I did, and it was a lot of fun. When I was in high school, some of my friends and I volunteered to be pooper scoopers for the Kentucky Derby Pegasus Parade. Believe it or not, it was a lot of fun. We were dressed in mini-tuxes, and were in groups behind the horse units; one person with a trash can, and two with shovels. We would run around and do cartwheels, and the crowd loved us.

The reason I bring this up is because I don’t think people realize how much work goes into making the Kentucky Derby Festival happen. Very few people involved get paid. I really want to encourage anyone who needs service hours to look at the volunteer portion of the website, Like I said, working with a group of friends was a lot of fun, and a memory I’ll never forget. If you don’t want to scoop poop, there is tons of other things to do to volunteer including helping with the Texas Hold ‘Em tournament, the marathon and lots more. BUT if you want to be cool like me there are still four spots available for pooper scoopers this year.

The only thing left to volunteer for on the site now is for the Pegasus Parade, but early next spring when you need some service hours, I promise you’ll have a fun time!

Also, for you viewing pleasure, I included a picture of me from high school from the parade.

Derby Barbie

I'm not one for impulse buys, but I REALLY REALLY want this. Quick- think of a fashion role model for little girls all across the world. Barbie is the first thing that comes to my mind. She may not be anatomically correct, but she is a pop culture icon. There is an entire universe of Barbie- she’s had every career possible, the man of our dreams, and an awesome house. Like every other girl in the world, I grew up with Barbie. I plan on getting my little girl her own dolls as soon as she’s old enough not to eat her tiny pink stilettos.

The other day I heard some gossip I had to investigate- rumors of a special edition KENTUCKY DERBY BARBIE DOLL! Well, the rumors are true. If I had known about this southern belle earlier I could have bought her from Mattel but they sold out quickly. Now the only place you can get the 2009 special edition Barbie is from the Derby Store ( for $47.00. Here is how they describe her:

In a way only Barbie® can, the doll showcases Kentucky Derby® fashion at its finest - glamorized and ready for the winner's circle. The Kentucky Derby® Barbie® doll wears a playful floral sun dress and a faux pearl necklace and sassy spring sandals. True to Kentucky Derby® fashion, Barbie® tops off the look with a stylish over sized white hat and blossoming flower accent.

Her Derby hat, curled hair, sundress and pearl necklace make it the stereotypical (in a good way) millionaire’s row Louisville girl. Especially because I’m from Louisville and have grown up with both the Derby and Barbie my whole life, I really want to get one. In fact, I think I will.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Gallopalooza 2009

Galla-pa what? I keep forgetting not everyone is from Louisville and familiar with all the non-race events and activities associated with the Kentucky Derby. If you’ve driven around town in Louisville, you may have noticed that there are brightly painted horses around in front of local businesses. Each horse is unique and each has a story behind it. These horses make up Gallopalooza.
Gallopalooza started in 2004 to inspire civic pride and showcase local artists. Did I mention they also raise over $740,000 dollars for charities? Here’s how the process works: artists submit designs, business sponsor them, the artists create the horses, the horses are judged and the artists win money, then the horses are auctioned off.
The 2009 horses were on display at Churchill Downs (where the derby is held) from April 9-11. Next time you’re in Louisville, look out for the Gallopalooza horses!
Want more info? Check out their website or the awsome photo gallery from the event can be found here:

"Silence Over Louisville"

After reading my last blog post about how much I love Thunder, you may question the title of this blog. I recently learned about an event to be held the same day as Thunder called “silence over Louisville”. I’m not quite sure how I feel about it.
According to another blog,, which is about “connecting you to the politics and events of greater Louisville and Kentucky”, this event is taking place the Friday before and the Saturday that is Thunder. Here is the official website:
26 local organizations are participating. The whole point of this thing is to protest the military.
The kickoff is Friday afternoon, when they are holding a peace vigil in protest of Israel’s “assault on Gaza”. The fun really starts Friday when they plan on distributing literature against having the military involved in Thunder’s air show. After that, they are going to act as “silent witnesses” and process across the Great Lawn, where most of the 500,000-people Thunder crowd will be.
The disclaimer at the bottom of the blog reads,
Note: The coalition does not oppose--nor wish to replace-- the civilian portion of the air show, or the fireworks. Its aim is to end the militarism represented by the flyover and military recruiters, with special consideration for the impact on youth and the immigrant community.
I consider myself pro-peace, but at the same time I am also pro-I-don’t-want-to-get-blown-up-by-terrorists. I’ll save you my political rant that I just typed and erased. I have a few close friends in the military and I am proud of them for risking their lives to keep us safe. I support our troops and pray that they are safe.
I’ll be on the lookout for these people next weekend when I’m at Thunder and let you know if I run across any of them!