How to throw a Kentucky Derby Party

Every first weekend of May the top three-year-old thoroughbreds vie to win the first leg of the coveted Triple Crown. This will be the 143rd running of this historic race at Churchill Downs in Louisville KY. It’s a fun event to share with family and friends. Here is a quick checklist to make sure you have the basics!

1. Invitations – You can buy, make, or whip up some electronic invitations to your Derby event. Personally, snail mail is my favorite. So, I would opt for cute or fun stationery.

2. Plan your Menu – Finger foods or a full lunch, you’ll want to decide if you’d like to stick to the more traditional Derby fair – like Country Ham and Biscuits, Kentucky Hot Brown sandwiches, Bourbon Pulled Pork and Chocolate Pecan Pie.


3. Julep’s for everyone – Whether you want to serve an adult beverage at your party is up to you. The mint julep  is the drink du jour. However, there are many recipes for those who don’t imbibe like this delightful mock mint julep.

4. Hats, Hats, Hats! – It wouldn’t be a derby party without a large hat! Many of those worn by attendees may seem impractical but at Mary’s we have a lot of fashionable and practical sun hats that you’ll want to keep wearing long into the summer months ahead.



You can use horse show ribbons as decorations, draw horse names to level the playing field with your non-horsey/ horse racing guests. Have door prizes for best hat and best dressed.  With all the fun you are having, don’t forget to watch the race.  You can tune in to NBC Sports Network on Friday, May 5th from 9:30 to 3:15 pm PDT for Kentucky Oaks coverage and again on Saturday, May 6, from 11:30 to 4:30 pm PDT for the Derby and all its under-cards.

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