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Wilkes-Barre, Pa. -- Live Derby Day parties at Mohegan Sun have been on hold since 2019, until now.

The admission-free Kentucky Derby Celebration returns to Mohegan Sun Pocono with windows opening for traditional racing wagers (for those 18 or older) beginning at 10 a.m. At 12 p.m., the outdoor beverage windows and food trucks open.

Outdoor beverage windows will offer traditional spirits like Mint Juleps, to beers, various mixed drinks, and non-alcoholic beverages. Food trucks include Eat Up Now, Hot Potatoes, and 2 Wayz One Passion, stationed outside for the celebration.

Also beginning at 12 p.m. is registration for a Hat Revue, where participants will compete to take home great prizes under the categories “Most Classic,” “Most Creative,” and “Best Dressed Couple," with special guest judge Ryan Leckey of WNEP TV.

Top prizes for the Hat Revue winners are Mohegan Sun giftcards and racing vouchers.

The main event--the true 'Run for the Roses'--begins at 6:57 p.m., televised on the jumbo outdoor screen. Live racing at the racetrack begins at 1:30 p.m. 

Derby history

The first ever Kentucky Derby took place in 1875, making it the longest running sporting event in the United States.

Also known as “The Run for the Roses”, the race features three-year-old racehorses and has had some incredible moments in its storied history. One of those moments came in 2018, when the Kentucky Derby hosted the first leg of the most recent Triple Crown winner, Justify.

The Triple Crown is one of the hardest feats in all of sports, requiring the same horse to win the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes, and the Belmont Stakes in the same season. It has only been accomplished 13 times.

Flowers, feathers, and more

Derby hats are statement pieces; over-the-top affairs with accents of feathers, ribbons, flowers, and more.

According to KentuckyDerby.com, the extravagant hats that have become associated with the Derby did not really come around until the 1960s, when the norms around social fashion loosened and the idea of being seen on TV gave hat-wearers even more reason to go big and stand out. The hats became larger, brighter, and more adorned.

Need a hat for the party on Derby day? Marketwatch.com reports the average hat price ranges from $500-$1.000. The most expensive hat in the world reportedly has a price tag of $3 million, worn at the AAMI Victoria Derby Day, adorned with diamonds and jewels.

If $3 million, or even $500 isn't in your budget, make your own for a fraction of the cost. Choose an undecorated, brimmed hat. Select the decorations you'd like to add--from silk flowers to feathers, ribbons, netting, jewels, or other fun decorations. A few tips:

  • Use wired ribbon to keep its shape
  • Go lightly on the hot glue
  • Attach your decorations towards the front of the hat, but not front and center. Offset at a 1 or 2 p.m. if you're thinking of a clock face
  • Find a fun tutorial on YouTube and get creative!

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