17 photos of people having the time of their lives at the Kentucky Derby

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Crowds cheer at the 142nd Kentucky Derby.
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Michael Hickey/Stringer/Getty

The 142nd Kentucky Derby took place this weekend at the Churchill Downs racetrack in Louisville, Kentucky.

The derby has many long-standing traditions – the parties on the infield, the extravagant hats, the marching band’s rendition of “My Old Kentucky Home”, and, of course, the tens of millions of dollars that are bid on the horse races.

One lasting tradition that is sure to get the party going is the mint julep. The perfect mix of bourbon, ice, sugar, and mint has been the derby’s signature drink for nearly a century.

Ahead, take a look at the debauchery that happened as the heavily favored Nyquist beat the rest of the horses to the finish line.


Prior to the races, the party was already getting started on the infield.

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Maddie Meyer/Getty

Guests’ attire ranged from spring dresses and bold striped suits…

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Maddie Meyer/Getty

…to more casual party outfits.

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Maddie Meyer/Getty

Sometimes the guys got into the traditional hat action as well.

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Maddie Meyer/Getty

This guy had more of a mardi gras-inspired look.

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Michael Noble Jr/Stringer/Getty

The drinking didn’t stop once the races began.

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Michael Hickey/Stringer/Getty

Onlookers downed their drinks in between cheers.

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Michael Hickey/Stringer/Getty

Almost 120,000 mint juleps are served at the Kentucky Derby each year.

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Michael Noble Jr/Stringer/Getty

Source: The Kentucky Derby


That’s equal to about 10,000 bottles of Old Forester Mint Julep Ready-to-Serve Cocktail, 1,000 pounds of mint, and 60,000 pounds of ice.

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USA Today Sports/Reuters

But you don’t have to enjoy a julep if you don’t want — beer and sangria are readily available.

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USA Today Sports/Reuters

For those who need a snack, treats like chocolate-covered strawberries are served.

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Michael Hickey/Stringer/Getty

On Friday night, DJ Cassidy performed at the Hermitage Derby Toast, a party hosted by Longines and Vanity Fair.

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Diane Bondareff/AP

Actor Adrian Grenier was in the middle of the action.

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Diane Bondareff/AP

Rain poured on Saturday, but that didn’t stop guests from coming out.

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Morry Gash/AP

At some point, the shoes had to come off.

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Michael Noble Jr/Stringer/Getty

Last year, the Derby set a record of 170,513 people in attendance.

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Michael Noble Jr/Stringer/Getty

The ultimate celebration happened in the winner’s circle when Nyquist’s jockey, the record-setting Mario Gutierrez, sprayed owner J. Paul Reddam with champagne.

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USA Today Sports/Reuters