Hosting a Kentucky Derby Party

The Kentucky Derby is a long awaited day. The fun is approaching…it is almost the first weekend in May. Design your fancy hat and wager your bet. Prepare to make mint juleps so when guests arrive you will be all set. Gather your best riding silks and other racing gear. The day everyone has been anticipating is just about here!

What better way to celebrate the fun and excitement of the Kentucky Derby, than by hosting a Kentucky Derby party. Here are some Kentucky Derby party ideas that will help you with your planning.

  • Theme: Keep with the tradition of the Kentucky Derby by throwing a Kentucky Derby themed party.  Require that all guests dress in Kentucky Derby theme attire. Racing silks and fancy hats are appropriate attire for the party. If guests have a favorite horse and jockey, suggest they dress in the same colors.
  • Decorations: Purchase plates, napkins and cups that say, Kentucky Derby. Add Kentucky Derby swizzle sticks to mint julep drinks. Scatter balloons throughout the room and place Kentucky Derby coasters on furniture. Add a special touch by hanging a Garland of Roses on the wall.
  • Food and Drink: Serve Burgoo as the main dish at the Kentucky Derby party. Burgoo stew is made up of a combination of slow-cooked meats, vegetables and spices. Top off the meal with a mouth-watering slice of Kentucky Bourbon Chocolate Walnut Pie. Accent the pie with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream. Wash it all down with a refreshing mint julep!

Hosting a Kentucky Derby Party

  • Souvenir Glass Swap: A creative Kentucky Derby party idea is the souvenir glass swap. On the invitation, ask each Kentucky Derby party guest to choose a small sampling of their souvenir glasses that they would consider trading. Many Kentucky Derby fans set goals of collecting entire souvenir glass sets from certain derbies. Offer guests the opportunity to trade glasses with one another in order to try and complete their sets. This activity will spark conversations between guests. Guests will likely mention stories behind the glasses, or experiences during particular years at the Derby.
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