How to Host a Kentucky Derby Party

Most folks don’t think of having a Kentucky Derby Party. However, it is a fun theme that also kicks off spring! It is also unique enough that you probably won’t have to compete with another event. The Kentucky Derby is always held on the first Saturday in May. So here is how to celebrate the foal fun with a unique (but easy to pull off) Kentucky Derby Party.
how to host a kentucky derby party

Kentucky Derby Party Ideas

Paper Goods

Plates are the first place to start. If you want to go the paper route, Oriental Trading often has horse themed paper goods. If you want the real deal, check out places like World Market or the Sierra Trading Post.

Name Plates

Consider getting horseshoes and tie a name tag on it with the name of your guest. It is a fun addition. For little ones, tie a name tag on a toy Schleich horse figurine! To get the horseshoes, buy a horseshoe game at a sporting goods store and use the horseshoes inside.

Read My Post Here: Hosting a Kentucky Derby Party for KIDS!


When sending out the invites, make sure to tell your guests to dress in “Southern Charm”, and don’t forget the fascinators and hats! If you want, you can have the guests make hats during the party! Find (affiliate) inexpensive hats, and get lots of ribbon, glue and flowers from a craft store. Lay it all out on a folding table and have them decorate their chapeau to wear during the equine festivities! Alternatively, hand out (affiliate) completed fascinators to the women when they arrive, and (affiliate) pocket squares for the guys.


Must haves include Mint Juleps! As your guests arrive, serve them one to kick off the fun. To have a non-alcoholic Mint Julep version, check out my post here with the recipe. Serve Kentuckyaki Wings, Derby Deviled Eggs, Bacon Bourbon Carmel Popcorn, Watermelon and Tomato Salad and Shrimp served over smoked grits.
kentucky derby party tips


Off course, turn on the TV to watch the pre-race, the race, and post-race broadcasts! As you wait, put a (affiliatehorse shoe toss outside. As guests arrive, have them place their bets too! For each bet (order 1-2-3), they have to pay one dollar. Whoever picked the winner, gets 60%, second place 25% and the 3rd place pick winner gets 15%.
………And they’re off!

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