The Queen is Coming!
Those of you outside of Louisville, Kentucky USA may not realize the significance of the first Saturday in May. It’s a little 2 minute horse race the world knows as The Kentucky Derby. Our town goes slightly nuts this week. Hotels are booked not only throughout the city, but for 2-3 neighboring states. All this week there will be events and celebrations leading up to the Derby itself, including the Oaks on Friday (in which 3 year old fillies race). Mint Juleps will be sold out the ear. People in “millionaire’s row” will wear bizarre hats. Meanwhile, in the “infield,” will be one long keg party. Much gambling will ensue. More revenue will flow into local coffers in this one weekend than the rest of the year combined. People rent out parking in their yards!
It’s all a little overwhelming to me. All these years that Louisville has been my adopted home, and I still haven’t gotten used to it. I don’t gamble and don’t like crowds and “the sport of kings” has never thrilled me. But the pageantry is fun, I guess.
And this year, we will be visited not just by horse-raising royalty, or Hollywood royalty, but by actual royalty. Yes, Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, of the U.K. and the Commonwealth, is coming to the Derby! Louisville is “all-aflitter.” People have been writing letters to the editor of the local paper on proper forms of address (Yeah, like her security will let us within hailing distance!) and I understand that she has been persuaded not to refer to these United States as “the colonies,” which we will properly appreciate. And I thought folks were freaked out last year when Bono came to Derby.
God save the Queen. 🙂
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