Kentucky Derby Party Ideas
The Kentucky Derby also known as “The Run for the Roses”, is held in beautiful Churchill Downs located in Louisville Kentucky. The Kentucky Derby is the first leg of the Triple Crown. The Kentucky Derby draws a crowd that would rival the Super Bowl or World Series. It is one of the most popular events in the sports world. Tickets are difficult to come by and can be very expensive. If you can’t work a trip to the Kentucky into your budget, bring the Derby to you and your friends at home. A Kentucky Derby party is fun regardless if you are fan of horse racing or not.
Kentucky Derby Party Invitations
Make your own invitations -- using old horse racing forms, paper covered in red roses or download pictures of the Derby and print them out as invitations.
Ask guests to arrive appropriately dressed, as if they were attending a party at Churchill Downs.
You may want to ask the invitees to each bring a dish or dessert reminiscent of Kentucky.
Kentucky Derby Party Decorating
Cover tables with silk-like material in bright colors to symbolize the jockeys.
Hang numbers representing the numbers on the horses.
Lots of red roses -- real or faux – in vases everywhere. If you can’t afford red roses, make tissue paper roses – dozens and dozens of roses.
Hang horseshoes and red streamers.
If you own a horse or have a friend who does, use the tack as decorations.
Red napkins or brightly colored napkins made of a silk-like material.
Disposable red plates, fork, knives and spoons.
Disposable silver colored cups.
Kentucky Derby Party Attire
Top hats for the men.
Wide-brimmed, extravagant hats for the women.
If you want to take it a step further – request the men to wear tails and the women to come in gowns or ask your guests to wear racing silks.
Kentucky Derby Party Food
Anything BBQ – burgers, ribs or chicken.
More traditional foods including Kentucky Hot Brown, Thoroughbred Pie, Burgoo or Andouille Sausage with Black Eyed Peas are all appropriate to serve.
Serve sides including cornbread or Shrimp and Grits with Red Eye Gravy.
For dessert serve Mint Julep cupcakes, Red Velvet Cake or Pecan Pie.
Party drinks – A Kentucky Derby Party NEEDS Mint Juleps. You can also serve anything with Kentucky Bourbon such as Jack and Coke or Jack and Ginger. For those who don’t drink, make home brewed southern sweet tea.
Mint Julep Recipe
Place six or seven mint leaves in the bottom of your silver cup and crush them lightly.
Add 1 ounce of Kentucky Bourbon
Fill the cup with ice
Add 1 ounce of Kentucky Bourbon
Add ½ ounce sugar syrup
Stir and serve with a spring or two of mint.
Kentucky Derby Party Games
Write the names of the horses on slips of paper and fold in half.
Put the names in a large jar.
Have your guests pick a name.
The name on the paper is who they will be rooting for.
The winner gets a bottle of Bourbon.
Play Horseshoes with your guests. Make teams or play against each other.
Play charades -- each item you plan on acting out has to be something related to the Kentucky Derby.
Make your guests all speak with a southern drawl. Don’t worry this will get easier and easier to do with each Mint Julep.
Watch the race on TV, cheer wildly and loudly.