It’s time to sound the trumpet and watch the “fastest two minutes in sports” unfold. That’s right we are off to the races and ready to celebrate with lots of creative Kentucky Derby Party Ideas!
The actual race may only last a mere two minutes, but your guest will enjoy placing bets, sipping on classic cocktails and cheering for their favorite horse at this stylish Kentucky Derby Party. I teamed up with Oriental Trading to create a classic Run for the Roses party, complete with FREE printable bet cards and a Mint Julep Bar Menu for your party!
Did you know that the Kentucky Derby festivities last for two weeks, and each day at the derby is filled with fashion food, and the perfect blend of high-class traditions and down-home comforts? Treat your guests to that same stylish atmosphere with these simple Derby Day Tips.
6 Kentucky Derby Day Party Tips
Set the Tone with Roses
In 1904, the red rose became the Kentucky Derby’s official flower so it is only natural that this floral bloom is the star of the party. You don’t need to be a florist or spend a ton of money to create your own regal centerpieces and Derby decor. I used red roses, galvanized vases and Derby Day Cutouts from Oriental Trading to create stylish decor inspired by the Kentucky Derby’s nickname.
Let Your Guest Pick the Winner
Part of the fun is betting on which horse will cross the finish line first. While I may not be an expert when it comes to betting on horse races (it’s quite possible I just pick the horse with the best name), it’s still lots of fun to take wagers before the race begins and see which of your friends will come out on top. You can download the free Place Your Bets Printable I designed for Oriental Trading and let your guest pick the winner.
Provide Plenty of Seating
Make sure you have optimal seating in front of the TV so everyone can witness the greatest 2 minutes in sports. You will also want to make sure you have several cozy spots where guest can grab a drink, have a bite to eat and enjoy some good old fashioned Southern hospitality. Use the brightly colored silk uniforms that the jockeys wear as inspiration for decorations in each of these areas so guest will feel like just like they are at Churchill Downs.
Serve Southern Classics
After an exciting race, your guest will be hungry. Serve Southern staples like Kentucky Hot Brown, Southern Cheese Grits, and Pecan Bourbon Balls. You can find colorful Derby Day Paper Plates, at Oriental Trading, that will look so festive layered on the table with the red napkins and fun trophy cups.
Stock the Bar with Signature Cocktails
A self serve bar cart is ideal for a Kentucky Derby party. No matter what cocktail you choose to serve it’s a good idea to make sure you stock up on lots of good quality Kentucky Bourbon for your bar cart. I show you how to create the perfect DIY Mint Julep Bar Cart, along with free printable recipe cards to help your guest create their own signature cocktails. While the Mint Julep may be the official cocktail of the Kentucky Derby consider a twist with a refreshing Mint Julep Lemonade or Honey Ginger Lemonade Cocktail.
Personalize the Details
I’ve always believed that it is the small personal details that make the celebration unforgettable. From a DIY Derby Day Banner to individual and personalized Mint Julep party favors your guest will feel like an honored guest. Oriental Trading makes it easy to purchase supplies that you can personalize so those ordinary details become extraordinary memories.
With these tips you will be ready for the most exciting two minutes in sports, so grab your floral hat, pour the mint juleps and place those bets it’s time for the Kentucky Derby!