This Saturday marks the 138th running of the Kentucky Derby. Racing at Churchill Downs dates back to 1875 when an estimated 10,000 people watched the first running of the Kentucky Derby. These fun-facts will prep you for any Derby Day trivia you may partake in this weekend:
- The Kentucky Derby restricts jockeys to a maximum weight of 126 pounds, including gear
- The Kentucky Derby is dubbed “the run for the roses” because the winner is awarded a blanket of roses at the end of the race
- 7,800 liters of bourbon are used to prepare mint juleps on the day of the Kentucky Derby
- 120,000 mint juleps are served over the two-day period of the Kentucky Derby
The Kentucky Derby race track is 1.25 miles
- In 1999, the horseshoes on the Kentucky Derby trophy were turned upright because of superstition that all of the luck would run out the bottom of the upside-down horseshoes
Old Town Social – Cheer on your favorite horse at the Old Town Social Kentucky Derby Party and Pig Roast. Enjoy live derby music while washing down your “soul” brunch with mint juleps (on special.) Break out your seersucker and over-sized hat because there is a $250 gift card prize for the best hat and best seer sucker suit. 11am – 3pm; 455 West North Avenue
Frontier – Soak in the sun on the Frontier patio this weekend during the Kentucky Derby. Frontier is cooking up Kentucky Burgoo (Kentucky-style stew) and will be slinging $6 mint juleps and $4 Victoria drafts all day. 1072 North Milwaukee.
South Branch – Feel good about sipping on mint juleps by purchasing a ticket to the South Branch 2nd Annual Kentucky Derby Charity Event. Your $20 ticket includes a donation to the American Lung Association and a complimentary Kentucky Derby-style buffet. Dress to impress because there will be awards for best had and best dressed. $20 in advance, $25 at the door; 2pm – 6pm; 100 S. Wacker Drive.
Tavern on Rush – Looking to show off your Derby best? Head over to the First Annual Kentucky Derby Soiree at Tavern on Rush. Their day-long celebration includes a Kentucky Derby-style menu serving mint juleps, Kentucky bourbon smokey links, and Churchill fried chicken. Ladies will be treated to long stem roses and the winner of their best hat contest will take home a bottle of Dom Perignon. 1031 North Rush Street.
Rockit Burger Bar – Rockit Burger Bar will celebrate the Kentucky Derby with Derby-themed cocktails and appetizers. Pick the winning horse and enter for a chance to win great prizes from Chicago hotspots. Tickets are $25 and benefit the University of Chicago Kovler Diabetes Center. $25; 3 – 6pm; 3700 North Clark Street.
Whitney Hewitt is the founder of Gatz Optimize, a social media consulting and marketing agency. With over eight years in marketing and communications, Hewitt puts her skills to work for both small businesses and Fortune 500 corporations. She is also the President of the Chicago chapter of Femfessionals, a professional organization dedicated to connecting and promoting savvy women in the Windy City. Follow Whitney @GatzSocialMedia.