We’re off to the races! Hold onto your horseshoes. If you can’t make it to Churchill Downs, you can get into the Derby spirit with some Twinspiration. Whether you’re a seasoned horse racing enthusiast or just looking for a fun theme for your next party, we’ve got you covered with the best Kentucky Derby party ideas. The Kentucky Derby is so much more than “two minutes in sports.” The Derby combines horse racing, fabulous fashion, indulgent food and refreshing mint juleps. We are excited to share our Kentucky Derby party ideas with you.
Kentucky Derby Party Ideas: The Decor
This party is going to be a winner, no matter how you bet on it. When it comes to hosting a Kentucky Derby party, the right decorations can really set the tone for the event. Our Kentucky Derby party ideas focus on decorating the space with elements that evoke the spirit of the race. Think traditional derby hats, horse figurines, bow-ties and horseshoes.
- Color Palette – The first of our Kentucky Derby party ideas is to create a cohesive look for your party by choosing a color palette that reflects the spirit of the race. Classic colors like green, navy and white are always a safe bet, but you can also incorporate bold pops of red, pink or yellow for a more playful vibe.
- Digital Printables – Digital printables are some of the easiest Kentucky Derby party ideas. They are a great way to add some fun to your party decor without breaking the bank. You can spruce up the buffet table with whimsical Derby themed signs and food tents. Etsy and Hostess with the Mostess feature a large selection of predesigned printables. Trust us, it is easier to leave the design work to the professionals. We incorporated this adorable collection from Hostess with the Mostess last year.
- Frames – Frames are additional Kentucky Derby party ideas that can be used to display photos of past Kentucky Derby winners or to create custom signs for your party. You can find frames in a variety of styles and sizes, or even create your own using materials like wood or cardboard. Display Derby signs in inexpensive frames.
- Flowers – Flowers are a classic Derby decoration and can be used to create beautiful centerpieces or table settings. Choose blooms in shades of pink, white, or green to complement your color palette, or opt for bold red roses to make a statement and because Since the Derby is also known as “Run for the Roses. Arrangements can be as simple as a single flower in a bud vase or a large bouquet. If you are on a tight budget, you can create roses from tissue paper.
- Horses – No Kentucky Derby party is complete without a nod to the horses themselves. You can incorporate horses figurines or photos of famous racehorses into your decor, or even use horse-themed tableware like plates and napkins. You can purchase plastic horses from Amazon and spray paint them to match your color palette. Last year, year we painted our horses gold.
- Glassware – For a touch of southern charm, decorate glassware with Southern Belle hat and Dapper Gentlemen bow-tie wine markers or colorful straws with Derby drink flags. The are some of our over the top Kentucky Derby party ideas, but trust us. The pics will be fabulous with these Derby inspired wine glasses.
Kentucky Derby Party Ideas: The Drinks
Don’t get saddled with a bad drink, make sure it’s a mint julep! Mint juleps are the official drink of the Derby. We recommend making a few batches of cocktails in pitchers before guests arrive, so that you aren’t spending that much time making drinks during the party. Since bourbon may not be for everyone, we recommend these alternative Derby libations:
This wine is galloping down my throat with delight. Make sure to also serve wine in wine glasses decorated with fascinators for the ladies.
It’s a good vintage, just like a seasoned jockey. For the gentlemen, serve wine in a bow-tie wine glass.
Kentucky Derby Party Ideas: The Food
Kentucky fried chicken. When it comes to food, traditional southern cuisine is the perfect fit for a Kentucky Derby party. Think fried chicken, biscuits, cornbread and grits. You can also serve appetizers like deviled eggs and pimento cheese, or create a grazing table with a selection of charcuterie, cheese, and fruit.
The hats at this party are so fabulous, they might just steal the show. One of our favorite ideas is a Derby cheese hat. Stack a large and small round of Brie, and add a decorative ribbon around the smaller brie. Glue a mini rose and some feathers to make the cheese resemble a Derby hat. To finish the Derby cheese hat, place it on a decorative platter and surround it with crackers, bread, fruit, or other snacks. You can also add additional decorations to the platter, such as mini horseshoes to really capture the spirit of the Kentucky Derby. Your guests will love this fun and delicious centerpiece!
It’s time to trot on over to the table and indulge in some Derby-inspired bites and sweets. We have also served hot browns, mac and cheese, pesto bow tie pasta, blueberry tart, bourbon truffles, pecan pie and sticky toffee pudding.
Kentucky Derby Party Ideas: The Dress Code
A good Derby hat is like a good horse, it makes a statement and gets noticed. When it comes to planning a Kentucky Derby party, the dress code is an important consideration. This event is known for its fashion-forward attendees, so you’ll want to encourage your guests to dress in their most stylish and sophisticated attire. For women, the traditional Derby dress code includes sundresses, elegant skirts, and stylish hats or fascinators. Bright colors and bold prints are encouraged, as are classic accessories like pearls and gloves. Footwear should be comfortable but stylish, with wedges or block heels being a popular choice.
Let’s bow-tie up this party with some stylish accessories. For men, the traditional Derby dress code includes seersucker or linen suits, dress shirts, and colorful ties or bow ties. Hats are also a must, with fedoras or bowler hats being a popular choice. Loafers or dress shoes are appropriate for footwear.
Kentucky Derby Party Ideas: The Awards
Derby dancing. To really get your guests excited about dressing up for your Kentucky Derby party, consider hosting a best-dressed contest. Offer a prize for the most stylishly dressed guest, or categories like “Best Hat” or “Most Dapper Gentlemen”. This will encourage your guests to go all out with their fashion choices and add an extra element of fun to your event. By setting a dress code for your Kentucky Derby party and encouraging your guests to dress to impress, you can create an unforgettable and stylish event that captures the spirit of this iconic event.
Don’t be a neigh-sayer, let’s have a great Derby day! Our Kentucky Derby party ideas will bring your friends and family together for a fun and stylish celebration. Whether you’re serving up traditional Derby fare like mint juleps and hot browns, or getting creative with your decor and dress code, there are countless ways to make your event memorable. By incorporating some of these Derby party ideas, you can create an unforgettable celebration that captures the excitement and spirit of this iconic event. So get your hats and bow-ties ready, and let the races begin! Shop our Derby favorites in our Amazon store.
No horse can go as fast as the money you bet on him.Nate Collier
These are sound like fun party ideas! I should do one of these.
This is a fun theme to put together for a party. It is nice to celebrate the Kentucky Derby with a themed get together.
I imagine a party like this would be so much fun.
This is a party that I would like to attend. It sounds so fun to dress up and drink fancy drinks.
Thanks for sharing this amazing article about Kentucky Derby Party ideas. It’s always great to have some creative ideas to add some fun to the party. Can’t wait to try some of them out for my next party.
Love the ideas for this fun themed party! Going to send this to my pal who is horse mad and very into racing. She will love it!
I love all these ideas! Such a fun theme. I have always loved the hats women wear for the derby.
I love these ideas for a Kentucky derby party. I’ll have to plan one with these tips and suggestions.
This sounds so much fun, Thanks for sharing these wonderful ideas, along with the suggestions for this amazing party.
What a fun party theme, I especially love the derby hat cakes!
Love all these awesome ideas! I love flowers and love to have flower decorations!