Since 1875, the Kentucky Derby has attracted millions of people to Churchill Downs. Many of these visitors come from out-of-state or even from around the world. Although the Derby attracts such large crowds from different states, many high school students from around the country claim that not many people from out-of-state care about the Derby as much as the crowds make it seem.
Kate Dougherty (12, Union Grove HS) lives in McDonough, Ga. and knows what the Kentucky Derby is and about its importance, but is unaware of the events surrounding Derby. Although she’s seen the race a few times she doesn’t watch it annually or plan to attend the event in the near future.
Similarly, not many people think about the Derby in Jefferson City, Mo., where Ben Krause (10, Jefferson City HS) lives. Krause, like Dougherty, knows very little about the Derby and doesn’t plan to attend.
In Naples, Fla., when people think about the Derby, people generally think about “those really big and fancy hats,” according to resident Jacqui Lawler (10, Naples HS).
Although people know what the Derby is, it’s definitely not on the forefront of their minds, as Lawler only knows one person who has gone and has only watched the event once.
Some students would go to the Derby if they had the chance; however, they do not consider it a bucket list item.
Katelyn DeKoster (11, Waterloo West HS), from Waterloo, Iowa, knows about the very basics of the Derby, including its distance, but has never watched it. However, she said, “If I get the chance to go watch it, I would, but it’s not in the top 10 events to go to.”
This story is by guest contributor Caroline Foshee (11, J&C).