By Tracie Potts
Louisville, KY (NBC) - The parades and parties leading up the Kentucky Derby are underway.
About 165,000 people packed Churchill Downs last year, betting $165 million on the race.
The horse "Hansen" is a favorite to win this time around.
Experienced derby-goers know this weekend is about more than just horses.
Hats are everywhere, big ones, small ones, even baby ones!
The fascinator was popular last year.
This year milliner Christine Moore says women are going a bit bigger.
"In Kentucky, the smaller the woman, the larger the hat. If you have the personality for a large hat, just go for it," she says.
Patty Ethington starts planning her outfit months in advance.
"I pick the dress first. And then Christine sees the dress, and we go from there," she explains.
Men, too, must dress to impress.
"You're gonna see all kinds of preppy shades from creamsicile orange to pale blues, pale pinks. So it's really about color for the guys," predicts style expert Lilliana Vazquez.
The Mint Julep has been the Derby's official drink for nearly a century.
They'll serve 120,000 this weekend.