How to Host a Kentucky Derby Party



Hi!  It’s Deanna from Mirabelle Creations and I’m thrilled to chat with you about one of my favorite days of the year.  I’m a Kentucky girl and there is no bigger day in Kentucky than Derby Day!  On the first Saturday in May, all eyes are on my beautiful state.   One of the most exciting moments of the Kentucky Derby is the crowning of the winner with the traditional Garland of Roses.  The red rose has been the official flower of the Kentucky Derby for more than 100 years.   If you won’t be making a trip to Chruchill Downs on Derby Day, you can still celebrate in style.  Here are a few tips for setting up a beautiful Derby party.




{Décor}  The Derby is also known as the Run for the Roses, which is a great theme to build a Derby party around.   Set the tone for your party with a rose themed invitation.   Other rose themed paper goods, such as place cards, cupcake toppers, and drink flags are carry out the Run for the Roses theme.  Fresh red roses can also be incorporated in your décor.  Scattering vases or extra mint julep cups filled with red roses around the house are a good bet.   A rose centerpiece placed on the main food table is also a winning choice.

{Food}  If you are serving appetizers or a meal, many Kentucky themed foods work well for a Derby buffet.  Menu items, such as Kentucky Burgoo, mini Kentucky Hot Brown appetizers, Country Ham Biscuits, and Bibb Lettuce Salad with Bourbon Vinaigrette, can be made ahead of party time.  Since these items can be made earlier in the day, you can keep with the Bluegrass-themed menu without sacrificing time spent mingling with your party guests.  And, don’t forget those Mint Juleps!  Guests can simply serve themselves at a Mint Julep Bar.  Set up bourbon, mint, crushed ice, and a variety of flavored syrups so guests can make their own Mint Julep.



A party celebrating the fastest two minutes in sports also needs Derby themed desserts.   Bourbon Balls are a perennial Kentucky dessert favorite.  Try updating classic bourbon balls into trendy Bourbon Ball Pops.   Another traditional Kentucky Derby dessert is a gooey brown sugar, pecan and dark chocolate pie.   Instead of the predictable pie, Derby Cupcakes inspired by that delicious pie will be a new hit at your party. Strawberry Rose Meringues carry out the Derby rose theme.  Each of these desserts are a great choice because they can be eaten without a plate and fork, allowing guests to clutch a mint julep or racing program in their other hand.




{Activities} The main event for any Kentucky Derby party is watching the big race.  The more guests you invite, the greater access to viewing you’ll need to provide.  One large television or several smaller ones will guarantee that no one misses the big event.  Guests will appreciate access to a daily racing form.  Consider looking online for racing forms to download and print.  If you’ll be hosting children at your party, you could also look online for jockey silk coloring pages for kids to color in their race day pick’s stable colors.  A few other activities for your party could include a Derby hat contest, a game of horseshoes, and wagers on the winner.


The Creative Team of Somewhat Simple

The Creative Team of Somewhat Simple

We are a creative group of ladies who strive to make our families happier and our homes prettier. Follow along as we bring you creative content that is sure to inspire!
The Creative Team of Somewhat Simple

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