The Kentucky Derby is upon us! While the Derby is not technically a Pride event, there are plenty of reasons for LGBTQ travelers to plan a trip to Louisville and partake in all that Kentucky Derby has to offer.

1. The Food

Anyone who has visited Louisville will tell you that the food is mouth-watering year round, but local restaurants and bars pull out all the stops during Derby season! The best place to sample the best food in Louisville is at the Taste of Derby. A favorite delicacy is Derby Pie, notorious for its creative flavor combinations and richness.

2. The Fireworks

The Kentucky Derby Festival doesn’t hold back on the drama! Fireworks are one of the most exciting ways to kick off the Derby Festival. While most visitors take in the show along the waterfront, a lucky few will have access to private parties with rooftop viewing.

3. The Drinks

Bourbon is integral in having to a true Kentucky experience. The Mint Julep is the official drink of the Derby, and the Old Fashioned is the official cocktail of Louisville where the Derby takes place. You can't go wrong with either of these two classics!

4. The Fashion

What would the Kentucky Derby be without amazing fashion?! Fashion makes people-watching almost as exciting as watching the actual races, so be sure to dress to impress. If huge hats are your thing, the Kentucky Derby Museum in town has an incredible collection to oggle over - although you are sure to see many show-stopping hats at the races themselves.

5. The Parade

The Pegasus Parade is the first and oldest event of the Kentucky Derby, often highlighted by celebrities and local heroes in attendance. Get a true taste of the power of the Kentucky Derby by taking in the good cheer at the Parade!

6. The Celebrities

The Kentucky Derby offers amazing opportunities to brush elbows with the rich and famous. Celebrities partake in all Derby festivities and often host parties of their own. If you can't afford the high priced events, you can always catch a glimpse of celebrities from the red carpets!

7. The Races

Of course, the actual horse races are a vital part of the Kentucky Derby experience. See the magic for yourself and ensure you have optimum viewing by showing up early and camping out all day to make the most of your time during the most popular days to be in Louisville.

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