Today marks the annual running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. For a majority of people in California, celebrating the Kentucky Derby is not at the forefront of their mind. I might be the one exception. There is something to be said about such a long-standing tradition and the stylish outfits people wear to the event. Plus, it’ a great excuse to celebrate and throw a great party. Each year Kentucky landscaper Jon Carloftis and his partner Dale Fisher throw a Derby-inspired party. I have to agree with Jon who recently shared with One King’s Lane that Derby day is less about horses and more about people. “There’s something about it that makes you feel like you’re celebrating with the rest of the world,” says Jon. I sure hope that when I get the chance to attend the Derby in person that I get an invitation to one of Jon and Dale’s fabulous events. It will give me a great excuse to have another custom hat made for me. But for now, I will have to celebrate across the miles…
Vintage runners line the path at Jon and Dale’s home. This is your first clue that the event is sure to be a beautiful bash.
A couple of stylish guests arriving. Her smile is contagious, isn’t it?
Jon Carloftis (left) and Dale Fisher enjoy the festivities. Don’t they look dapper?
A delicious spread of quick bites are set up inside the pool house.
The table is adorned with a bouquet of red roses paying tribute to the official flower of the Kentucky Derby since 1904. In 1925 the tradition was strengthened when New York sports columnist Bill Corum, later the president of Churchill Downs, dubbed the Kentucky Derby the “Run for the Roses.” Each year the winning horse of the Derby is draped with a prestigious garland of more than 400 Freedom roses, each inserted into its own vial of water. Given that one statistic, it’s not surprising to learn that the garland weighs in at approximately 40 pounds and measures 122 inches long and 22 inches wide.
Jon and Dale serve beverages up in style. The Old Forester Mint Julep is the official drink of the Derby. I posted the official recipe in last year’s post.
Happy Derby Day!