With barely a month to go before the 2019 Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 4th, now is the perfect time to start planning your fabulous Derby Day party! We’ve compiled 6 of the best Kentucky Derby party ideas for you and all your friends to have the most fun watching the Kentucky Derby without actually being at the Kentucky Derby!
Southern Cuisine Kentucky Derby Party
It’s no secret that Southern food is some of the best in the world. Why not celebrate the classic Southern tradition of the Kentucky Derby with some traditional Southern food? Start the party with a refreshing and easy Benedictine Spread. A great recipe for the creamy, cucumber spread can be found here.
No Kentucky Derby day party is complete without Kentucky Hot Browns, an open-faced sandwich with turkey, bacon, and cheesy Mornay sauce. Get the original recipe from the Hot Brown recipe from the Brown Hotel in Louisville.
For dessert, a derby pie is the only way to go. Though the original recipe cannot be found anywhere, many great renditions can still be found online, like the not derby pie bars. However, if you’re a traditionalist, you can order the trademarked pie for your Kentucky Derby party ideas here.
Dress for the Kentucky Derby Party
Obviously, you cannot throw a Kentucky Derby Party without the full Kentucky Derby attire required. Send your guests a dress code with all the essentials- a nice sundress, some strappy sandals, statement jewelry, and most importantly, a nice big floppy hat.
Southerners take their hates very seriously, if you don’t believe me, just take a look at what Sheila Nobles, the official millinery designer for the Kentucky Derby Museum at Churchill Downs said on the subject: “If you don’t wear a hat to the Kentucky Derby, you’ll feel like the woman who wears jeans to a little black dress party.”
Kentucky Derby Betting Party
Is a Kentucky Derby Party really a Kentucky Derby Party without wagering games? Lucky for us, the official Kentucky Derby website offers a list of betting games to keep you and your guests entertained.
Instructions for games like the Derby Hat Draw, Horse Auction Action, Lucky Longshots, and more can all be found here.
Mint Julep Jubilee
A Kentucky Derby staple is the mint julep. And, though we agree the original mint julep is great, why not have a party where guests bring their own, personalized version of the mint julep for a little friendly competition?
Here are some great ideas for a fun twist on the classic mint julep:
DIY Derby Hat Party
Why spend money on a fancy hat (that you will probably only wear once a year), when you could have a great time making one with all your friends to get in the Kentucky Derby spirit? All you’ll need to make a great hat are these essentials: a hat, a hot glue gun, fake flowers, netting, feathers, sequins, and ribbon. For the best Kentucky Derby party, there’s no limit on how large and in-charge your hat can be!
Horse Theme Party
Celebrate the Kentucky Derby in a very literal way, with some fun horse themed party games! Games like horseshoes, bobbing for apples, and pin the tail on the racehorse will be a great hit! Extra points for serving whole carrots and sugar cube cocktails.
What are your Kentucky Derby party ideas? Tell us in the comments!
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Hopefully, some of these Kentucky Derby party ideas will inspire you to have a blast celebrating Kentucky Derby day with all your friends!