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And They're Off: How to Plan A Kentucky Derby Party

Kentucky derby party ideas.

Those three words turn out to be the most exciting two minutes of the Kentucky Derby. The Derby is held the first Saturday in May. The Kentucky Derby is more than a race it has become annual society event. Since the first derby in 1875 the race began traditions from food, drink, and attire. Over the years I have gained a lot of experience with this type of party because I have a customer who happens to be from Kentucky. We have been doing this party together for a very long time. So if you have decided to be a part of the action this year, I am here to give you some ideas on how to plan a derby party.

So were off!!

The colors change for the Derby every year so I go to the official Kentucky Derby web site, place my order for the invitations and see what colors we will be working with for that particular year. Their are usually 2 colors we use to decorate with. I incorporate these colors into the linens and napkins we will use for the event. I prefer to use a silky fabric as it resembles the jockeys uniform which they call silks.

How to decorate

  • Red roses, roses. and more roses place in silver julep cups and use as a table center piece.
  • A horseshoe wreath in the center of the table with a ribbon draped over it that that says Winner is a fun idea. If your the creative type try it yourself, or go to your local florist for help.
  • Place horseshoes on party tables, buffet, or hang some on walls.
  • I happened to find a photo of a horse race. I brought it to my local printer and had him blow up the picture. Then I hung it up across the tent.

What to Do

  • Tell the ladies bring their own decorated hat from home. During the party have the men judge who has the best hat and offer a prize.
  • Set up a Bourbon tasting table with small cordial glasses. Have everyone vote which one is their favorite.
  • Outdoors offer the adults a game of horseshoes and pin the tail on the horse for the kids.
  • Of course, you should take bets and give betting tickets Its also a good idea to make a poster with all the horses names on it.
  • Lastly make sure that flat screen of yours works and place in your party area so that everyone can watch the race.

Southern Food & Drink Ideas

  • In keeping with the day serve Mint juleps the day of the race in perhaps the official Mint Julep glass that can be taken home as a souvenir. Personally over the years I have not been able to acquire a taste for this drink. But try it yourself and see what you think. You will need lots of shaved ice.
  • Provide casual southern food such as salad, bourbon marinated pork, hot brown sandwiches, and corn on the cob.
  • For dessert don't forget to serve the derby pie and maybe a pecan pie too.
  • For a more elegant affair you may want to use your finest silver, china , crystal and uniformed staff.


Having a Kentucky derby party is a great way to kick off spring. Its up to you on how you create your theme from casual to elegant. Its an exciting day so have fun with it ! Who knows maybe it will become a tradition in your home.

For more info visit barbaraseleganttouchstaffing.com.

 

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CowDung January 04, 2013 at 09:11 PM
Unfortunately, this article is about 3 months too early for my typical party planning...
Mark Maley January 06, 2013 at 12:04 AM
I hosted a Derby Party a couple of years ago and had a blast! Thanks for these great tips....although, I agree with CowDung that it's a bit too early to start planning for this.
Jay Sykes January 06, 2013 at 10:03 PM
That's three months of mint julep practice.
Barbara Gilleece January 07, 2013 at 12:26 AM
Better to be prepared. Sometimes it does take me up to three months or so to gather everything fo rthe event. Its not something you can just throw together in a week. Bu thanks for your comments ..Happy New Year ! Barbara
Barbara Gilleece January 07, 2013 at 12:27 AM
Yeks as I said those are not my favorite but it may be fun trying: )
The Donny Show January 08, 2013 at 06:01 PM
Is this what the Patch is now because of all the firings? Party planning?
Barbara Gilleece February 10, 2013 at 11:07 PM
Hum .. I have been in business for 14 years now..Maybe you should take a look. www.barbaraselegantouchstaffing.com
jbw February 10, 2013 at 11:51 PM
You left out one "t" in your website address, Barbara. http://www.barbaraseleganttouchstaffing.com
Barbara Gilleece February 11, 2013 at 12:26 AM
OOps thanks jbw.. www.barbaraseleganttouchstaffing.com .

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