How To Host A Derby Party

Hey, ya’ll!!!  (I had to throw that in there since today’s theme is southern in nature.)  If you are on the fence about hosting a Kentucky Derby Party, there is still time.  I have a plan for you.



Derby invite

You don’t have time to send out paper invitations at this point, but you can send out an on-line invitation by going here.



Derby decorations are not too difficult.  You can use some of your equestrian themed items that you might have, or you can make some decorations. 



Derby decorations

For instance, you can bring your chalkboards into play, or you can print out some graphics of things like these racing silks.



Henry Clay quote

You definitely need to set up a bar and serve Mint Juleps.  This print-out of a quote by Kentucky statesman Henry Clay would be cute on the bar.  There are a gazillion mint julep recipes online, so you will definitely need to have bourbon, mint, simple syrup and plenty of ice of hand.




Red Roses

Since the Derby is also known as The Run for the Roses, a centerpiece of a dozen red roses on your table will continue the theme.




Derby prizes

You might ask your guests to dress up.  You can take it one step further by having a “Best Hat” and “Best Bow Tie” contest.  Have cute little Derby-related prizes for the winners.  Also, set up a betting station so your guests can have a personal interest in which horse wins.  You can find different ways to go about this here.




Fill your table with popular Kentucky-themed foods and pull out your best china and linens.  It will make your guests feel really special.



Sausage Cheese Puffs

If you serve finger foods, you can eliminate the hassle of dealing with utensils.  These sausage balls are an easy and tasty finger food to serve.



Beer Cheese

Beer cheese is as popular in Kentucky as grits and bourbon.  This is a great recipe for you to follow.




Benedictine is another Kentucky favorite.  This is a great recipe for the popular spread.




These mint julep cupcakes are real show stoppers.  Can we give a collective yum????



Bourbon Balls

Ninety percent of the world’s bourbon is made within 50 miles of where my mother lives in Lexington.  There are lots of popular recipes using bourbon, including these bourbon balls.



bourbon balls

Are you drooling?




When your guests arrive, greet them with a julep, a smile, and your Derby best.  Have fun, and I hope your horse wins.


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Linking to Wow Us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style



  1. says

    We do an annual KY Derby party every year! (both my husband and I were born and raised in KY so horses are in our blood). It’s funny we pretty much do everything you mentioned- KY Derby food, mint juleps, bourbon balls, hat contest, and lots of fun Derby decor!! Hope your Derby day is lots of fun. There’s nothing like the Run for the Roses!