Like any good southern lady, I dream of wearing big hats, pearls, and having lady-like lunches made from tasty southern recipes passed down over time.  And while I am not sure that single-handedly bringing the hat back into fashion is within the realm of my possibility, thanks to Derby Day at The Dixie, I can live out my big hat dreams every year when the Kentucky Derby rolls around.

Derby Day at the Dixie, a Kentucky Derby event at the Dixie Carter Performing Arts and Academic Enrichment Center in Huntingdon, Tennessee, is an annual event free to the community replete with all the splendor of any derby gala worth its salt.  Attendees are greeted with plenty of warm southern hospitality and encouraged to sample from tailgates loaded with traditional derby eats.

There are opportunities to pick the winning thoroughbred, to bid in a silent auction, listen to live bluegrass, and a showing of the race on the theatre’s big screen that has even the most reserved observer cheering by the home stretch.

But, let’s just admit it, the true star of any derby event is derby attire worn by both men and women (oh, those wonderful, marvelous hats).  With seersucker and mint juleps to spare,  awards are given at the end of the day for best female derby hat, men’s attire, best tailgate, best derby pie, and a number of other derby standouts. 

While one day I might make it across the state line to Churchill Downs, I’m in no rush… because until then my southern heart (and big hat) belongs to Derby Day at The Dixie.

Here is a little peek inside the event.