The stars are shining over the Bluegrass state. From Wilmer Valderrama to Michelle Williams, so many celebrities donned their hats and grabbed their juleps to watch the 2019 Kentucky Derby.
It’s the biggest party of the summer – literally! Over 150,000 people are expected to pack Churchill Downs in Louisville for the 2019 Kentucky Derby on May 4, and among the masses are some of your favorite celebrities. The stars were definitely shining over the Kentucky bluegrass for the 145th edition of the “Run For The Roses,” as Wilmer Valderrama was spotted early on in the day.
Wilmer dressed the part for the occasion, opting for a light brown suit with a printed shirt, black shoes and orange and black sunglasses. Meanwhile, Destiny’s Child member Michelle Williams also looked ready for the races in a springy white dress with a pastel floral design. She topped off her ensemble with an oversized pink hat complete with blue, white and blush ribbons.
The Kentucky Derby has always been a spot for celebrities to strut their stuff. In 2017, Tina Knowles, Victoria Justice, Diddy and his daughters, N*SNYC’s Joey Fatone, and Mira Sorvino were just some of the celebrities spotted at Churchill Downs. Since 2007, Churchill Downs has initiated a new Kentucky Derby tradition with their special red carpet entrance for all VIP attendees with their guests. The event is even broadcast on NBC, giving fans a chance to see all their fashions – and those extravagant, mind-boggling hats.
Of course, a celebrity at the Kentucky Derby is by no means a modern thing. One of the earliest celebrity sightings came in 1877 when famed Polish actress Helena Modjeska attended the third running of the Kentucky Derby. One time, during 1889, bank and train robber Frank James (the brother of Jesse James) was on hand to watch Spokane take the win over Proctor Knott, according to the Kentucky Derby official website. Seven politicians who have gone on to be president of the United States have also watched the Kentucky Derby. Richard M. Nixon is the only present to watch the race while in the White House. Gerald Ford, Lyndon Johnson Harry S. Truman, Lyndon Johnson, Jimmy Carter, and George Bush are the others.
Royalty has also attended the Kentucky Derby. Edward George Villiers Stanley, the 17th Earl of Derby, from whose family the term “Derby” was derived, attended the race in 1930, becoming the first English nobleman to attend. In 1975, for the 100th running, Princess Margaret and her husband, Lord Snowden, attended the race and partook of the trophy presentation. In 2007, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip attended. The Queen wore a lime green wool coat with a matching silk dress and lime green hat. It’s unclear if she enjoyed a mint julep, but she certainly was dressed for it.