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Derby in DC: The Kentucky Society of Washington’s Pre-Derby Party

For as long as I can remember, I have felt inextricably tied to the world of bygone times – the southern charm on the plantation Tara in Gone With the Wind, or the high society balls and luncheons on the moors in old England. If you were to marry those two things, and toss in colorful hats and a horse race, you’d have the annual Pre-Kentucky Derby Party hosted by The Kentucky Society of Washington. 

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This year the event was held at River Farm in Virginia, a stone’s throw from Mount Vernon. Having never been to the estate, I was delighted to find that it was exactly as I had pictured a life on an old Southern Farm: incredible white columns and stunning green gardens, situated right on the banks of the Potomac. derbyinDC-5 derbyinDC-11 derbyinDC-13 derbyinDC-17

Aside from the scenic view and elegant atmosphere, the party brought out Washington in their finest Derby duds, and the fashion was apparent in men and women alike. Extravagant hats, classy bowties, and bright colors adorned all in attendance. 

derbyinDC-10 derbyinDC-9 derbyinDC-7Mint Juleps dominated the drink scene, and we nibbled on KFC, beer cheese, and cucumber sandwiches. It felt straight out of a grand southern novel, and while walking the grounds in my dramatic big hat, I felt a part of the exquisite scene. 

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My family is full of equestrians, and I have spent the majority of my life on the back of a horse. So it follows that the Derby is something we look forward to all year. However, in 32 years this was my first official Pre-Derby event, and I think I’ve fallen in love with juleps and Derby fashion. 

derbyinDC-16Thank you to the Kentucky Derby Society for allowing us the opportunity to abandon our Yankee roots for a day and bathe in all thinks Kentucky!! derbyinDC-2

Looking to celebrate the real Derby this weekend? Check out this list of events, and let us know where you’ll be! 

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