It’s been a long, hard winter, Louisville. How many times have you made an emergency run to Kroger for bread and milk? How many days have the kids of JCPS missed? It’s time to forget about that: here are some unmistakable signs of springtime in Derby City.
1. Dairy Kastle Opens
The annual opening of Dairy Kastle is reason to rejoice, not just because it means the return of the Orange Cow and Fat Elvies milkshakes. The opening signifies that the powers that be (or at least, the powers behind Dairy Kastle) have deemed spring close enough for the gates of Dairy Kastle to be thrown open, allowing mere mortals to partake in the heavenly bliss of cheap, delicious, all-American food. It’s like the Louisville version of Punxsutawney Phil.
2. Derby, Derby everywhere.
Bright bursts of colorful Derby hats bloom in shop windows. Clusters of silky fluttering Derby dresses are perched on svelte mannequins. Derby is like Louisville’s Christmas, and we like to start celebrating early. It’s only a matter of time before Thunder Over Louisville, before Derby parties and Oaks and my personal favorite tradition, the annual choking-down-a-mint-julep-and-pretending-to-like-it because it’s TRADITION.
3. Teenage jaywalkers on Bardstown Road
Perhaps it’s a sign that I’m aging, but every time I see these youths roaming Bardstown Road in the twilight I find myself wondering: where are your parents? Why did they let you put those stretchers in your ears? Why aren’t you like, studying for the ACT or crying about that boy band or something? These teenage hordes travel in packs, dodging cars and running across streets with their too-tight t-shirts and their too-big glasses and their popping bubble gum and their clove cigarillos.
4. Patios open up and become coveting dining and drinking destinations
Spots like Garage Bar, with its outdoor glowing ping-pong tables, or Captain’s Quarters with its prime view of the river become the go-to for socializing and showing off those fake pre-Derby tans and recycled Derby sundresses. Other spots with great patios include The Village Anchor, Down One Bourbon Bar and The Silver Dollar. Nothing beats a sunny brunch with the cool spring breeze blowing about.
5. Allergies abound.
Ohhh, you forgot about allergies, didn’t you? You forgot that every year around this time, the blowing poison of pollen from all those blooming plants invades your every orifice and leaves you red-eyed, snotty-nosed and totally stopped up. You were so busy complaining about winter that you forgot the blessed relief the cold weather provides us by killing all the creeping crud that abounds in our river city. Surprise! Spring is here.