Derby Day a big deal in South Walton

Bob and Susan Dobes

Bob and Susan Dobes on the beach close to their Seagrove home.

Published: Thursday, May 2, 2013 at 02:51 PM.

Called the greatest two minutes in sports, the 139th running of the Kentucky Derby is set to do it again today — and South Walton will be watching.

For locals, the biggest horse race of the year is yet another dandy reason to get together.

Some are huge fans and follow the horses all year. But for others, it's about the creativity they put into their Derby hats. Some go a step farther and coordinate their colors with those of the horse's silks. And, indeed, some friendly wagers will no doubt be made.

The mint juleps will flow, and many a ham biscuit and bourbon ball will be enjoyed.

Seagrove's Bob and Susan Dobes watch every year. A Louisville native, Susan has been watching since 1954.

"We have had Derby parties with food and mint juleps in our silver julep glasses at home. We always wear a Derby hat and sometimes bet a dollar on our pick for the winner. We have gone to restaurants with our hats and engaged everyone, including the kitchen staff, to participate and bet a dollar," said Susan. "Bob gave me a personally autographed Peter Max poster he created for the 100th wearing of the Derby hats. Sometimes we just sit and watch it together. But we always watch, and we always seem to yell a lot."

Sandestin's Mary Damroth is another Kentucky girl.

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