Do you know what the first Saturday in May is? Do you know what is the most exciting 2 minutes in sports? What is the only sport that requires women to wear hats? And what event has its own designated cocktail? Well, of course, it’s the Kentucky Derby ~ and this year is the 143rd running of the most famous horse race in America, if not the world. 2015 was the best because American Pharaoh won and went on to win the Triple Crown ~ the first time since 1978. It’s not too late to plan a Kentucky Derby party and I wanted to show you how we prepare for our Kentucky Derby Party. Here is a step~by~step from last year’s party.
In 2001 Sweet Shark and I went to the Kentucky Derby and it still ranks as one of the best days of our lives. The pageantry, the spectacle, the beautiful horses, the color, the hats, the mint juleps (!) ~ it was all a wonderful experience. Starting in 2003, every other year we have hosted a Kentucky Derby Party (We did miss a couple of years when we were moving, lived in an apartment for a year and moved into our new house). It’s our very favorite party to host. Even if you are not into horses or horse racing, Kentucky Derby is still a great reason to gather your friends for good food, the classic mint julep and dressing up with hats! If you can’t host a Kentucky Derby Party this year, you can save this party prep post for next year (Pin it to your Party Ideas, Please!)
How We Prepare for Our Kentucky Derby Party
Preparations begin in February when I send out a “save the date” and in April, we send our the official invitation. And now with just a few days until Derby Day, we are in full swing party mode. I wanted to give you a sneak peek of some of our Derby Day decorations. By Friday, we try to have (almost) everything in place so we can just do last minute meal assembly, set up the bar, and relax before our guests arrive.
When guests arrive, our banner greets them. We put it on a pole attached to a tree in the front yard,
When we had our first Kentucky Derby party in 2003, we stocked up on (1000) cups for mint juleps, napkins, straws, and sparkly little horses to last us for awhile ~ as in forever.
We have over 30 Kentucky Derby glasses starting in the 80’s that belonged to Sweet Shark’s parents and we’ve added more over the years. You can order Kentucky Derby party paraphernalia online at several sources, such as Amazon, Party City and Caulfield’s.
We have some jockey hats on hand in case a lady forgets to wear her hat.
And this cute pony sings for his supper.
In 2014, my brother~in~law, made this great tote board for us. He makes a new one every year. I’ve kept them all just because.
I found this wooden horse in Waco at the Junky Monkey when I visited Magnolia Market in last March. I’ll show his transformation later this week.
I bought these supplies at Hobby Lobby with a special decoration in mind. I love the black & white check ribbon.
I’m using some of the ribbon for napkin ties. Black and Red are the “colors of the day” since the Kentucky Derby is the “run for the roses”. Kentucky Derby party is the time to bring out your good china and silver.
More red and black & white check. I’ll use the paper for menu cards.
And speaking of “run for the roses”, here is part of my DIY decorative project. Floral roses from Hobby Lobby and burlap ribbon I had on hand. Think blanket of roses.
I spray painted the die cut letters and bought pre~cut triangles for my project.
Here’s a little sneak peak of the finished project, using the black & white ribbon and red netting I already had.
Everyone gets a copy of “My Old Kentucky Home” to sing along with the 100,000 fans at Churchill Downs during the post parade.
These ideas will get you started on Kentucky Derby party preparations. More good party planning ideas to come this week. I’ll share our menu and the finished decorations.