How To Throw A Kentucky Derby Party
Raid your wardrobe for the fanciest, most elaborate hat you own and your *classy AF* Vineyard Vines sundress, because the Kentucky Derby takes place this Saturday, May 6.
It's that time of year again, when we're all graced with the perfect excuse to dress from head to toe in pastel, round up the squad and sip on Mint Juleps all day long.
Once the horses line up to sprint around the track, we're in for the most exhilarating two minutes ever. Or, if you're lucky enough to attend the event in person, you'll see the magic unfold from the stands as your heart skips a beat.
This year marks the 143rd running of the annual affair at Louisville's Churchill Downs Racetrack. Celebrities and attendees alike flock to the racing grounds to watch“The Fastest Two Minutes in Sports” and make a posh fashion statement.
And get this: Over 127,000 Mint Juleps are served to guests each year, because #Priorities.
For those of us who can't be on the racing grounds where the action takes place, it's only appropriate to throw some classy parties of our own, right?
Here's how to throw the ultimate Kentucky Derby bash this weekend.
1. First, Mint Juleps.
First and foremost, have your alcohol in check.
Whether you're hosting a party out on the patio or keeping it indoors, organize your cocktails on a rolling drink cart with white lace doilies to give your bash that oh-so-sophisticated touch.
Don't forget to make a checklist of the ingredients needed to prepare your Mint Juleps, in addition to the drink's signature cups.
In addition, for any guests who aren't about those Mint Julep vibes, consider whipping up another refreshing, boozy beverage, like peach sangria or sparkling raspberry and rhubarb Collins.
2. May the most whimsical, downright ridiculous hat win.
Have a list of fun games prepped for when you're sipping on your booze. Whether they're drinking-related, or all in good fun, let the games begin.
Voting on the craziest, most elaborate hat is always an awesome idea, complete with a special prize awarded to the winner. Tell your guests in advance, so they all put their best foot forward to compete for the gold.
If the weather is gorgeous, and you're able to take the party outside, Bean Bag Toss and Bocce are great games to set up.
3. Decorate your home head-to-toe in pastel.
Decorations may just be the best part of all. If you need a little bit of preppy inspiration for your gathering, Pinterest is the way to go before you hit up a craft store near you.
It's always a nice touch to put together several vases with vibrant flower arrangements for the tables.
Don't forget to hang a cute banner along your wall, so your friends can have a backdrop for their adorable group shots. Set up a photo booth area with Kentucky Derby-themed props.
You can even buy a bunch of cheap, stemless wine glasses, and decorate them with glitter paint for each guest to use throughout the day.
4. Chocolate bourbon pecan pie, anyone?
Make sure your menu for the afternoon fits the theme of the party.
Chocolate bourbon pecan pie is ALWAYS a good (and downright delicious) idea, along with Mint Julep brownies, bacon bourbon caramel popcorn, chicken salad sandwiches and watermelon tomato salad. Your guests' palates will be delightfully pleased.
5. Let the betting, and games, begin.
Amidst all of the boozy fun taking place during the day, don't forget to turn on your TV to see the actual event! NBC will broadcast live coverage straight from the Kentucky Derby grounds, starting at 2:30pm.
Prior to the race, organize a chart of the horses everyone is betting on to take home the gold. The winner (or winners) can claim the cash prize in the end.
Get ready for a weekend of fun, and raise your Mint Juleps to the Kentucky Derby.
Citations: Kentucky Derby (Wikipedia), 2017 Kentucky Derby Facts & History (WalletHub), SPARKLING RHUBARB AND RASPBERRY COLLINS (Lexi Bites), Kentucky Derby Party Ideas (Pinterest), Derby Party Dishes (Kentucky Derby), Chocolate Pecan Pie with Bourbon (Food & Wine Magazine), NBC AIRS RECORD 5-HOUR KENTUCKY DERBY BROADCAST THIS SAT., MAY 6, LIVE AT 2:30 PM ET, HIGHLIGHTING NBC SPORTS GROUP'S DERBY WEEK COVERAGE (NBCUniversal)