Along with garlands of roses, mint juleps and the singing of My Old Kentucky Home, dressing up is one of the most beloved traditions of the Kentucky Derby.
Come Saturday, Churchill Downs in Louisville will be awash in a vibrant sea of bespoke hats and seersucker suits, continuing a tradition that goes back more than 100 years.
"For men and women both, the Derby has always been a time to dress up and that tradition certainly continues today," said Lynn Ashton, president of the Kentucky Derby Museum, which is on the grounds of Churchill Downs.
Col. Meriwether Lewis, founder of Churchill Downs, was inspired by elegant European racing tracks after a trip abroad.
"For it to be successful, he would have to get the men there, and he would have to do something to get the ladies there, too," Ashton said.
In the late 1800s, the infield at Churchill Downs was that era's Millionaires' Row.
"People who would come to the Derby would pull alongside each other into the infield, and they would set up picnics and it would be a very fancy affair," Ashton said.
Flash forward to the 20th century, and the appearance of celebrities of screen, stage and politics at the track helped to continue that air of elegance.
Stars of the Stands, currently on view at The Kentucky Derby Museum, illustrates the connection between celebrities, Thoroughbred racing and the Derby.
The exhibit will run for two years, with the current display featuring celebrities from the Derby's beginning through 1973. Next year's second part will focus on stars from 1974 to the present.
Visitors will see artifacts, videos and rarely seen photographs, including those of Bing Crosby and Bob Hope. Claudette Colbert, in a shot from the 1950 Kentucky Derby, is pictured in the stands, dressed in a hat and fur coat.
Of course, the Derby is not for the wealthy alone. Whether you're seated on Millionaires' Row or in the general admission area, for many people, it's not Derby Day unless you're all dolled up.
"I just think it's something that's kind of ingrained," said Mindy Mobley of L.V. Harkness in Lexington. It has been several years since Mobley attended the Derby, but when she did, she dressed up and was wearing a hat.
Her mother, Charlotte Noe, used to go every year, Mobley says. "She always wore a hat, because that's what you do."
"The Derby is such a special event," Mobley said. "In Kentucky, it's a holiday. You dress up for any holiday."