When Derby Week hits, the hustle and bustle of parties and activities takes over and you may feel like your head is spinning (hopefully not from too many mint juleps!). Whether you are planning just one day at the track or an entire week’s worth of festivities, it is so hard to remember all the little things that can make such a huge difference in your experience at the track. From sore feet, drained mobile devices, and potential weather mishaps – these issues all have quick solutions that are smart to keep with you at all times.

*Make note that Churchill Downs prohibits purses of certain sizes.  Click here to review the Derby Week Bag Policy

  1. A small external phone charger:  A long day at the racetrack with friends means taking pictures, texting acquaintances and documenting memories. All of this comes at the cost of your cell phone’s battery. Consider a tiny portable battery pack, which comes in a size tiny enough to fit in the smallest clutch!

  2. Foldable Flats: No matter how comfortable you think your fabulous heels may be, the likelihood is that they will eventually turn on you.  Foldable flats are exactly what they are described as: small, foldable ballet flats that fit into any handbag. Some even come in their very own pouch!

  3. A Poncho: I know, I know. None of us like to even consider that Derby Day will every be anything short of 72 degrees and sunny… but better safe than sorry, as always. Churchill Downs does not allow umbrellas on the property, so you will need another plan. Most general stores and sporting stores carry small, disposable ponchos that are folded no larger than the size of a notecard. Heaven forbid it be needed, you will be grateful. 

  4. Removable Shoe Straps: If you are like me and you adore the look of an oh-so-chic pump, then this next tip will be your ultimate foot-saver. For shoes without straps, walking long distances or generally being on your feet all day can be painstaking. Some retailers offer adjustable, removable straps for shoes without any!  They even come in clear so they don’t change your overall look. 

  5. A Simple Wrap or Pashmina: If the weather is a bit chilly, it will keep you warm. If the weather is toasty, it will keep the sunrays off of your shoulders. That is, unless your hat doubles as it’s own southern parasol – in which case your friends may benefit as well. 

These are just a handful of ideas based on the lessons I have learned the hard way over the years! Now prepare to enjoy all of the beauty and excitement that the majestic Run for the Roses has to offer! Remember to wear your SPF and celebrate responsibly! 

See you at the track!

Catherine Kung

The Southern Gloss

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