LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A Kentucky Derby look isn’t complete without headwear. Hats or fascinators for women. Hats for men, and not only traditional ones.

People create their own statement pieces involving the Twin Spires, horses and even the starting gate at Churchill Downs, which is celebrating the 150th running of the famous race this weekend in Louisville, Kentucky.

The Derby was created by Meriweather Lewis Clark Jr., who wanted to bring the class and elegance of European racing to America. The tradition of wearing hats to the Derby began with its first running in 1875. But they began taking on a life of their own in the 1960s, growing larger and more ornate so the people wearing them could be spotted on television.

That meant fancy clothing and shoes too. The tradition has never wavered in the Derby’s history and, in fact, it continues to grow. There is a contest for best dressed at Churchill Downs and there are three official milliners this year.


AP Kentucky Derby coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/kentucky-derby