About Me

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Recent retiree--35 year's experience teaching reading, English, adult basic education and volunteer leadership skills. Started this blog to exchange ideas and commentary with friends and others having an interest in joining the discussions. Greatest life accomplishments include: 1.organized my 3rd grade class to check out library books for me to get around librarian's weekly limit--Amazon.com, the Mullins Elementary 3rd Grade Class of 1956 is still waiting for "thank you" notes; 2. volunteered in the Peace Corps, island of St. Kitts, West Indies; 3.taught adults to read, earn their GEDs., and speak English as a second language; 4. bought a border collie puppy for $6, got evicted rather than give him up, and began a life-long love affair with all things "Dog"; 5. joined a physical fitness boot camp in my mid-50s--don't mess with someone who's been doing regulation pushups in wet grass at 5:30 a.m.; 6. walked across Northern England with best friend Sally--over 80 miles from the Irish to North Seas; and 7. travelled to many foreign countries for pleasure and work.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Kentucky Derby Traditions - Crafting the Rose Garland

~ Click on collage to enlarge ~

This Derby Eve I braved the crowds at our local Kroger's supermarket in Middletown to get these photos of the florists crafting the spectacular Garland of Roses which will be placed on the thoroughbred winner of the 139th Kentucky Derby.  It's a tradition for a local Kroger's to craft the garland and people are invited to come and watch.  After the garland is complete it is displayed at the store, along with the Official Kentucky Derby Trophy, until early Saturday morning when it goes to Churchill Downs, ready for the Winner's Circle Ceremonies.

The Garland of Roses is crafted according to tradition from about 400 Freedom Roses (named in honor of those who perished on 9.11).  Each rose is placed in its own water vial and then handsewn into a bed of greenery.  The garland crown includes a special rose for every horse in the Derby.  Here are a few other photos from tonight:

Display of the Garland and Winner's Trophy

Closeup of garland greenery and roses

Roses ready for water vials

Jockey silks banners throughout the store

Tired florists working since 4p - notice the bracelet

Garland Crown with rose for each horse racing

Winner's Trophy

And finally, Derby Pie from Kern's Bakery!  Fudgey chocolate and nuts, oh my!

Well, I hope you've enjoyed this little behind the scenes account of one great Derby tradition.  When you see the Galrland of Roses tomorrow in the Winner's Circle you can tell your friends you know how this beauty was made!   

Linking for May 6: Macro Monday and Mosaic Monday . 


Brian King said...

Wow! That's very cool! I had no idea how it was made. Definitely beautiful!

Grandma Barb's This and That said...

The garland is beautiful! Thanks for showing us the behind the scenes photos.

Stewart M said...

I have to say the pie looks shockingly good! Do they do mail order??

Stewart M - Melbourne

TexWisGirl said...

that is really neat. thanks for sharing this bit of 'behind the scenes' reporting from louisville!

JoAnn ( Scene Through My Eyes) said...

Wonderful information - I had no clue about the roses - actually I have no clue about anything about the derby except that horses run very fast and everyone yells a lot. Lovely photos. I love the local traditions of different areas.

Bob Walker said...
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Bob Walker said...

Leave it to Fadie to come up with a unique angle for today's festivities! All hail your on-the-spot reportage. I'll look for Orb to be wearing the garland today; but I'm not overly confident about this pick with such a crowded (as usual) field

Bob Walker said...
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Jo's World said...

Tex-Wis Girl shared this interesting blog with me today. We were talking about the Derby and someone was televised (NBC) while working on the wreath.

I love any sporting event that is over in a few minutes. Beginning, Middle and End, just like that. So horseracing fills the bill!


Jo in Minnesota

A Creative Harbor said...

Great photos and what an exciting event ~ ^_^

eileeninmd said...

The roses are beautiful. Everything about the Derby is exciting. Very cool, thanks for sharing. Wonderful photos, have a happy week!

Lavender Cottage said...

So much goes on behind the scenes to make events a success. I had no idea of all the preparations.

Jemma said...

What an informative and intriguing post!
Garland is gorgeous!
Visiting from Little Red House-

Lola said...

What a great event!

Great post!

Visiting from Macro Monday - here’s mine!

Karen said...

A really great look at behind the scene!

Daphne Bryson said...
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Daphne Bryson said...

Good Afternoon Faye, I have heard of the Kentucky Derby, but I have never seen it, so it was fascinating to see the preparations behind the scenes. The rose garland is fabulous and such a work of art.
I am going to show Sadie, my mother-in-law these pictures as she loves racing and I know she will love them.
I have had fun visiting you and I have become your 100th follower.... how exciting.
I would like to invite you to visit me at Ivy, Phyllis and Me! you will be so welcome.
Best Wishes from England,

Gunilla B├Ąck said...

Gorgeous roses! That's a lot of work, but the result is beautiful.

Gardening in a Sandbox said...

That was a gorgeous garland. Too bad it rained all that day of the race. Valerie