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Today, I had the opportunity to meet the 2017 Kentucky Derby Festival Princesses. The Derby Princesses are a group of 5 college-aged women selected annually to reign over the Derby and the Derby Festival proceedings.
Tonight, one of the Derby Festival Princesses will be named Derby Festival Queen at the annual Fillies Ball. The Fillies, Inc., is a women's club founded in 1959 to further the mission of the Derby Festival Committee. All proceeds from the Fillies Ball will be donated to the Kentucky Derby Festival Foundation, which provides scholarships and grants throughout the community.
To read a first-hand account of a Derby Festival Princess's schedule, check out this post that fashion blogger Grace Wainwright of A Southern Drawl wrote for HerKentucky about her year on the Derby Festival Court.
Louisville has its own language more than any other Kentucky city. Here's a few words that only natives know how to say propertly.
Seelbach: Pronounced in Louisville as Seel-bæk to rhyme with the synonym for spine; pronounced by everyone else as Seel-bahk to rhyme with family of German composers. The storied downtown hotel where Fitzgerald's Daisy married Tom Buchanan. Now a Hilton property, but nobody mentions that part either.
Valhalla: Pronounced in Louisville as Vaal-haal-a, with the first two syllables rhyming in their very long a's; pronounced elsewhere as Vaal-ha-la, with the middle syllable sounding like an exclamation for a mildly funny joke. It's the real deal PGA golf course; it may also have something to do with Greek mythology.
School: The pronunciation is pretty standard -- skōōl -- but somehow native Lousivillians intone the word to indicate that they're precisely referring to high school. Where did you go to school? usually leads to a discussion of private vs. public schools.
Benedictine: Another word with a standard pronunciation, but with vastly different meanings. To the rest of the world, it's an order of Catholic monks, or the herbaceous liqueur originally produced by those monks. Here in Louisville, it's a green sandwich spread.
Louisville: Perhaps the most disputed word of all. Kentuckians know it's Lew-a-vill. We've heard "Leweee-ville", "Lou-vill", and all sorts of foolishness.
Did we leave any out?
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