Amazing Flowers at the Kentucky Derby

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Amazing Flowers at the Kentucky Derby

One of the things on my bucket list was to go to the Kentucky Derby, and I was lucky enough to get the opportunity last year. And boy, I was not disappointed! As a floral designer, I have always been excited by the tradition of the Garland of Roses presented to the winner. I had no idea about all the other flowers before, during and after the race. The minute I got off the plane in Kentucky and walked into the terminal, we were greeted with every ticket area decorated with red roses. On the moving escalator, a huge floral arrangement of probably 150 red roses lined the walkway every 10-ft. I counted about 24 arrangements! The red roses continued at the car rental desk, and the lobby of our hotel had flowers everywhere. Arriving at Churchill Downs that Friday, the floral theme was pink stargazer lilies where the winner of the Kentucky Oaks would be draped in a stargazer blanket. Overnight the pink lily displays were replaced with red roses. It was truly magical. The red rose blanket is proudly on display before the race and is carried in with lots of excitement and pomp and circumstance, truly showcasing the importance of the floral display. At the Kentucky Derby, women wear flowers on their hats and men sport boutonnieres. When the day was over, the crowd was encouraged to take home the flowers from the displays. It was incredible to see people leave with handfuls of flowers. Where have you been surprised to see amazing displays of flowers? How did the flowers make you feel?