The upcoming weekend brings with it festivities for celebrating the Kentucky Derby, which for those of us with no ties whatsoever to Kentucky or horse racing does indeed present a challenge. What I can say is that my favorite whiskey is bourbon, so I have that going, and I like my chicken fried (or grilled, baked, sauteed, stewed), so I can get in on that part of it. But a two minute horse race? Watching very short men whip horses until they reach breakneck speeds? Can't say that's my thing!
Besides mint juleps and fried chicken, Kentucky is also known for burgoo, a sort of stew. And by "is also known for" I mean "isn't really known for this unless you go through a few pages of google searching". KFC really should be serving it as a side dish if they care about promoting the bluegrass state's top dishes!
Beyond that, a Kentucky Derby party needs to celebrate famous Kentuckians, such as Abraham Lincoln, Jefferson Davis, and Cassius "Mohammed Ali" Clay. As well as the Judds, Loretta Lynn and Crystal Gayle.
Other fine activities (besides the two minutes of race-watching) include making each other honorary "Kentucky Colonels" (it's fun for the fambly! See who gets honorary court martialed first) and mining some coal. A party isn't a party without bits of anthracite all over your hands.
Theme tunes? Any bluegrass music, or Neil Diamond's "Kentucky Woman", or Elvis' "Kentucky Rain".