7 Tips for Throwing A Classy Kentucky Derby Party

horse cookies

Believe it or not The Kentucky Derby is this weekend at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky!  Fancy VIPs will watch the famous race from Millionaire's Row, while 80,000 revelers will party on the infield. Whose excited? Well Solemates certainly is! In fact, Solemates has made a Special Derby Edition for the big day featuring their signature High Heelers in three different sizes (narrow, classic, wide) that will go in each of the official Horseman's bags. Take a look!

solemates derby edition

And there is no better way to kick off your May then with a Kentucky Derby party! This is a party 140 years in the making so we have quite a few ideas for how you can make your party special even if you aren't anywhere near Kentucky!

The race will begin around 6:30 p.m. (ET), so have your guests arrive early for a late afternoon celebration.

jessica simpson

Dress to party
The Derby is all about the fashion so you must require your guests to dress to the nines.  Fashionable attire is a must at the Derby. Linen suits and oversize hats (like the one Jessica Simpson sported at the event a few years ago) are all the rage. Encourage your guests to bring their own, or pick up a selection from a thrift store.

classy derby party tips

Mint Juleps of course! But bourbon and iced tea also work.


derby pie

Kentucky desserts are known for their chocolate, nuts and, of course, bourbon. The most famous is Derby Pie, created by the Kern family at the Melrose Inn. It's a rich custard pie filled with toasted walnuts and chocolate in a slightly salty crust.

Photo booth
If you can swing it, spring for a photo booth, with extra hats, fake mustaches, or jockey attire.

Remember, the race is only a few minutes long so you are going to need some entertainment for your guests. If it is warm set up backyard games like horseshoes, croquet or cornhole. Give prizes for the most elegant or over-the-top hat.

horse races

Pick a horse, any horse
Have a prize on hand for the person who selects the winning stead – a red rose bouquet would make a theme-appropriate prize.

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