Despite the fact that I have never been to the Kentucky Derby, I love its traditions and its history. I'm really not that into horse racing, but I do love a good Triple Crown winner.

Do I think the fancy apparel worn by attendees is borderline outrageous? Of course, I do. But that's part of the fun of the Kentucky Derby. And yes, I will absolutely watch it on that first Saturday of May--I'm glad we're done with that Labor Day thing--and I might even make myself a mint julep for the occasion. I mean, that IS the occasion for that iconic southern beverage.

But the main thing about the Kentucky Derby is pretty basic and wouldn't have required a point being made about it prior to the pandemic, and that's IN-PERSON ATTENDANCE. Yes, the pandemic and requisite protocols will be playing a part when Kentucky Derby Festival activities begin this spring, but there will be actual people in attendance and that is great news.

The festivities begin in March and will continue through the big day, Saturday, May 7th.

Highlights include BourbonVille, which should be a huge hit among fans of Kentucky's signature beverage. That's set for April 14th. A couple of days later, on April 16th, you'll have an opportunity to bicycle around Louisville or do it virtually with the annual Tour de Lou, featuring rides that are 62.1, 35, and 20 miles long. There will also be a family ride.

The Pegasus Parade, one of the festival's most popular events, takes place the Sunday before this year's Kentucky Derby, on May 1st, followed that week by a steamboat race and the Derby Eve Jam, among others.

The Festival will adhere to state and federal guidelines with regards to the COVID-19 pandemic, so hang on to this schedule of events and know that it is subject to change at any time.

But it IS exciting that the festival organizers have come up with a safe way to get this back to an in-person event. For some, attendance at the Derby is on the same level as attendance at the family Thanksgiving dinner--they just dress better.

[SOURCE: WDRB-Louisville]

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