This is the Kentucky Derby!

Now Open!

The Twin Spires®. The Garland of Roses. The Mint Julep. The fashion, and of course, the horses. Many know and love the Kentucky Derby, but how did it become the beloved and world-renowned race that it is today? Kentucky Derby Museum answers that question in its newest permanent exhibit, This is the Kentucky Derby! Presented by Kroger, it opened to the public on Wednesday, April 27.

Once you walk through the Starting Gate off the Museum lobby, the exhibit on the left takes guests through five main facets of the Kentucky Derby: History, Culture, Spectacle, Economic Impact, and Tradition. Through artifacts, pictures and touchscreens, this exhibit will answer many questions, including:

  • Who started the Kentucky Derby? Why?
  • How did the Kentucky Derby become a media sensation?
  • How many millions of dollars flow through the city and state due to the Kentucky Derby?
  • From the Mint Julep to the solid gold trophy, to the Twin Spires® and the Garland of Roses, how did these traditions become icons of the Kentucky Derby?

Visual focal points of the exhibit include replica Twin Spires® suspended from the ceiling. Designed off of the original blueprints of the famed Spires, they are complete with working lights that can change colors, just as the real Spires do. The coveted Garland of Roses hangs from the ceiling, bursting into petals that spray over the exhibit, to give guests a new way to see the prized blanket. The Museum's curators worked closely with Kroger master floral designers to create the replica. A video monitor within the exhibit shows the floral designers handcrafting the authentic 40-pound masterpiece each year.

Stroll through the exhibit and realize: This is the Kentucky Derby!

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