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Kentucky Derby 2024: Hats, horses and dresses dominate the best images from Churchill Downs

May 4, 2024;  Louisville, Kentucky, USA;  Holli Bicker of Louisville wears her Derby hat during the 150th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs.  Mandatory credit: Clare Grant-USA TODAY Sports

May 4, 2024; Louisville, Kentucky, USA; Holli Bicker of Louisville wears her Derby hat during the 150th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. Mandatory credit: Clare Grant-USA TODAY Sports

The 150th Kentucky Derby will showcase some beautiful horse racing, but as always, there will also be some eye-catching fashionable hats and outfits at Churchill Downs.

For more than a century, the Kentucky Derby, also known as the “Run for the Roses,” has been known for the distinctive hats worn by both men and women. This cherished tradition, which dates back to the early 20th century, was born out of necessity: the race is always held in May and spectators needed protection from the sun. Now it’s a necessity if you’re attending the first leg of the Triple Crown series.

Kentucky derby 2024: The history and legacy of the Kentucky Derby hat tradition

Immerse yourself in the vibrant colors and bold fashions that exude femininity and elegance at the 2024 Kentucky Derby.

Kentucky Derby 2024: Hats, horses and the best Churchill Downs images

May 4, 2024;  Louisville, Kentucky, USA;  Women pose with their complimentary Derby hats during the Kentucky Derby in Louisville, Ky.  in May.  4 2024. Mandatory Credit: Sam Upshaw, Jr.-USA TODAY SportsMay 4, 2024;  Louisville, Kentucky, USA;  Women pose with their complimentary Derby hats during the Kentucky Derby in Louisville, Ky.  in May.  4 2024. Mandatory Credit: Sam Upshaw, Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

May 4, 2024; Louisville, Kentucky, USA; Women pose with their complimentary Derby hats during the Kentucky Derby in Louisville, Ky. in May. 4 2024. Mandatory Credit: Sam Upshaw, Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

May 4, 2024;  Louisville, Kentucky, USA;  (LR).  Bobby Williams and his wife Gloria Williams stood with Pamela Woods and her husband Donald Woods posing for a photo at the Kentucky Derby 150 sign as they arrive for the Kentucky Derby in Louisville, Kentucky in May.  4 2024. Mandatory Credit: Sam Upshaw, Jr.-USA TODAY SportsMay 4, 2024;  Louisville, Kentucky, USA;  (LR).  Bobby Williams and his wife Gloria Williams stood with Pamela Woods and her husband Donald Woods posing for a photo at the Kentucky Derby 150 sign as they arrive for the Kentucky Derby in Louisville, Kentucky in May.  4 2024. Mandatory Credit: Sam Upshaw, Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

May 4, 2024; Louisville, Kentucky, USA; (LR). Bobby Williams and his wife Gloria Williams stood with Pamela Woods and her husband Donald Woods posing for a photo at the Kentucky Derby 150 sign as they arrive for the Kentucky Derby in Louisville, Kentucky in May. 4 2024. Mandatory Credit: Sam Upshaw, Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

May 4, 2024;  Louisville, Kentucky, USA;  Adam Klein of Cleveland, Ohio, wears a fashionable hat as he arrived for the Kentucky Derby in Louisville, Kentucky, in May.  4 2024. Mandatory Credit: Sam Upshaw, Jr.-USA TODAY SportsMay 4, 2024;  Louisville, Kentucky, USA;  Adam Klein of Cleveland, Ohio, wears a fashionable hat as he arrived for the Kentucky Derby in Louisville, Kentucky, in May.  4 2024. Mandatory Credit: Sam Upshaw, Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

May 4, 2024; Louisville, Kentucky, USA; Adam Klein of Cleveland, Ohio, wears a fashionable hat as he arrived for the Kentucky Derby in Louisville, Kentucky, in May. 4 2024. Mandatory Credit: Sam Upshaw, Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

May 4, 2024;  Louisville, Kentucky, USA;  Anissa Todman of New Jersey wears a fashionable hat at the Kentucky Derby in Louisville, Kentucky in May.  4 2024. Mandatory Credit: Sam Upshaw, Jr.-USA TODAY SportsMay 4, 2024;  Louisville, Kentucky, USA;  Anissa Todman of New Jersey wears a fashionable hat at the Kentucky Derby in Louisville, Kentucky in May.  4 2024. Mandatory Credit: Sam Upshaw, Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

May 4, 2024; Louisville, Kentucky, USA; Anissa Todman of New Jersey wears a fashionable hat at the Kentucky Derby in Louisville, Kentucky in May. 4 2024. Mandatory Credit: Sam Upshaw, Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

May 4, 2024;  Louisville, Kentucky, USA;  Michelle Barnes wears a fashionable hat as she arrived for the Kentucky Derby in Louisville, Kentucky in May.  4 2024. Mandatory Credit: Sam Upshaw, Jr.-USA TODAY SportsMay 4, 2024;  Louisville, Kentucky, USA;  Michelle Barnes wears a fashionable hat as she arrived for the Kentucky Derby in Louisville, Kentucky in May.  4 2024. Mandatory Credit: Sam Upshaw, Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

May 4, 2024; Louisville, Kentucky, USA; Michelle Barnes wears a fashionable hat as she arrived for the Kentucky Derby in Louisville, Kentucky in May. 4 2024. Mandatory Credit: Sam Upshaw, Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

May 4, 2024;  Louisville, Kentucky, USA;  Katie Groves of Boise Idaho arrived at Churchill Downs on Saturday, May 4, 2024 for her first Derby during the 150th Kentucky Derby in Louisville, Kentucky.  Mandatory Credit: Jeff Faughender-USA TODAY SportsMay 4, 2024;  Louisville, Kentucky, USA;  Katie Groves of Boise Idaho arrived at Churchill Downs on Saturday, May 4, 2024 for her first Derby during the 150th Kentucky Derby in Louisville, Kentucky.  Mandatory Credit: Jeff Faughender-USA TODAY Sports

May 4, 2024; Louisville, Kentucky, USA; Katie Groves of Boise Idaho arrived at Churchill Downs on Saturday, May 4, 2024 for her first Derby during the 150th Kentucky Derby in Louisville, Kentucky. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Faughender-USA TODAY Sports

May 4, 2024;  Louisville, Kentucky, USA;  Hats and fashion on display during the 150th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., on Saturday, May 4, 2024. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Faughender-USA TODAY SportsMay 4, 2024;  Louisville, Kentucky, USA;  Hats and fashion on display during the 150th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., on Saturday, May 4, 2024. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Faughender-USA TODAY Sports

May 4, 2024; Louisville, Kentucky, USA; Hats and fashion on display during the 150th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., on Saturday, May 4, 2024. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Faughender-USA TODAY Sports

May 4, 2024;  Louisville, Kentucky, USA;  Tye Herbstreit watches the second race of the 150th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs.  Mandatory credit: Clare Grant-USA TODAY SportsMay 4, 2024;  Louisville, Kentucky, USA;  Tye Herbstreit watches the second race of the 150th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs.  Mandatory credit: Clare Grant-USA TODAY Sports

May 4, 2024; Louisville, Kentucky, USA; Tye Herbstreit watches the second race of the 150th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. Mandatory credit: Clare Grant-USA TODAY Sports

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: 2024 Kentucky Derby: Hats, horses and outfits take over at Churchill Downs