Ask a local what’s on their "Louisville Things to Do" list, and you might be surprised to learn that the Kentucky Derby isn’t there. That’s not to say the historic race isn’t a huge part of the Louisville culture—it is. In fact, the city gears up for the event with nearly two weeks of festivities, including Thunder Over Louisville, the nation’s largest and most rambunctious annual firework show. So what do native city dwellers do for the Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports if they’re not at Churchill Downs? They have parties of their own, of course. There you’ll find folks naming hypothetical horses, relaxing, and drinking generous amounts of booze from the venerable establishments along the bourbon trail.

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