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It’s known as the greatest/most exciting/fastest two minutes in sports – that first Saturday in May – when the best of the best hit the track, carrying on in the tradition of Man-O-War, Secretariat, Seattle Slew and (who can forget?!?) Burgoo King. That’s right. We’re T-minus 3 days from

The 137th Running of the Kentucky Derby

And while for many, this day is all about the horses, any self-respecting woman will tell you it’s about much… much more. It’s all about the hat.

Enter Exhibit A: A recent trip to Louisville found Mom and Dad at one of Mom’s go-to stores in the city – Dee’s. While I will be the first to say that it’s probably one of the last places my dad wanted to shop, even he was amazed at the spectacle that was taking place two weeks prior to the Derby. Although Dee’s offers a wide variety of crafting items, it isn’t just for the scrap-booker, knitter or gift-buyer.

Come Derby time, you’ll find Dee’s filled (and I do mean filled) with customers designing the hat they’ll don for the Kentucky Derby. Whether you choose wide brim or narrow brim – or even a headband – Dee’s can help you design a one-of-a-kind chapeau. Last year, Dee’s sold some 1,200 hats for the day – 950 of them were custom made! After all, everyone who’s anyone knows that from satin and sequins to flowers and feathers, there is but one mission in the minds of all female Kentucky Derby attendees – out-do all the others :-). So with no further ado, may I present a few of this year’s masterpieces, courtesy of Dee’s:

Okay, okay – that bottom hat is my handi-work (I should probably go ahead and make an appointment for next year at Dee’s right now…) Anywho, for any of you who aren’t comfortable being seen in public donning a giant peacock atop your head, perhaps you could consider a little liquid courage. Since this is the Kentucky Derby, follow tradition with the official drink:

Early Times Mint Julep Recipe:

* 2 cups sugar

* 2 cups water

* Sprigs of fresh mint

* Crushed ice

* Early Times Kentucky Whisky

* Silver Julep Cups

Make a simple syrup by boiling sugar and water together for five minutes. Cool and place in a covered container with six or eight sprigs of fresh mint, then refrigerate overnight. Make one julep at a time by filling a julep cup with crushed ice, adding one tablespoon mint syrup and two ounces of Early Times Kentucky Whisky. Stir rapidly with a spoon to frost the outside of the cup. Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint.

Knock back a couple of those and you’ll have no problem singing My Old Kentucky Home:


Be sure to visit the Ketucky Derby website for up-to-the-minute info on horses and jockeys, a party planning guide, Derby traditions, cuisine and a whole lot of cool stuff. And whatever you do, don’t forget your hat :-)


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