I think it could be considered an official holiday. If the Derby were on a weekday, no doubt businesses would be closed; they wouldn't be able to function with 90% of their staff "sick".
We went to Roy's aunt and uncle's house for a kid-friendly party. John schooled Riley in teatherball and I got my chance to show him who's boss after his strategy of wrapping himself between the pole and the rope resulted in a rope burn, taking him out of the game. SHOW NO MERCY!!
Watching the Derby yesterday with kids and adults alike, I watched them more than the horses. Sophie laughed and squealed through the entire race, and the adults were cheering as loud as the kids. Grace, Roy's 8 year old cousin, had fallen in love with the Filly, Eight Bells. She had been watching her development, and her dad, John, bought her a show ticket at Keeneland.
When tragedy struck and Eight Bells fatally broke both front legs, just after coming in second, a sadness fell over the house. Grace was in tears, being comforted by her parents, and finally sat down and wrote a letter to the horse owners in Florida.
Like the playing of My Old Kentucky Home, which will forever bring tears to my eyes, there is something about the Derby that resonates. That brings us together in mint juleps and gambling, that is healthy and real. It's also the unofficial start of planting season.
Happy Derby Day to you all.