Derby Day Entertaining

Even if you aren’t a horse racing aficionado, The Kentucky Derby does present an awfully good excuse to throw a killer party.   Dress up and do some day drinking, hat-wearing, and light gambling.  What’s not to love?  Always on the first Saturday of May, the 143rd Kentucky Derby will fall on May 6th of this year.  Often called “the most exciting two minutes of sports,” it’s a day rich in history and tradition.  

To get your party started, set the tone with the right invitation.



The next item to check off your list?  Your attire, of course.  Gingham, seersucker, pastel and Nantucket Red are highly encouraged.  Bowties, pocket squares, pearls are also always a good idea,


Ladies, don’t forget your derby hat.

Now that we have the attire selected, let’s plan a menu.  Traditional southern fare is encouraged, and bourbon is a must.  Greet your guests at the door with a mint julep cocktail served in a julep cup, or set up a julep bar complete with the recipe, so guests can try their hand at mixology.



If you’re pushing bourbon at your party, you better well have some hearty food to offer!  Derby menu staple traditions include a DIY riff on chicken and waffles…


…hearty pork tenderloin sliders with all of the fixins…

…and of course, no “Southern” styled party is complete without a platter or two of deviled eggs.


Betting a few bucks makes the race more exciting.  No jockey research necessary: many people choose their horses based on their catchy name alone.

There’s that pesky bourbon showing up again, this time in ball form.  Bourbon balls are a derby dessert must.



Adorable hand-painted cookies are the icing on the cake of a successful derby party!


Post time for this year’s Derby is 6:34 pm EST on Saturday, May 6.  Get your Derby on!

images via vineyardvines, southernliving, societybride

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