A Kentucky Derby party is not complete until you know what to wear, what Derby hat to wear, you have a Mint Julep in hand, and are in Millionaires Row. This party should have as much style as one would see attending Derby Day in Churchill Downs in the Millionaires Row, all the while sipping a Mint Julep, and sporting a large Derby hat. When deciding what to wear to Kentucky Derby Day, the hat is the most important. Don’t let your dress overpower your hat! This red carpet event is attended by celebrities and those in the society pages. The most prestigious seats are in the Turf Club for members only. Millionaire’s Row is where many of the celebrities and high society will spend their afternoon which is located on level 4 or 6 of the clubhouse. These seats can cost upwards of $4000 per ticket.
Tickets to the Millionaires Row!
A few things you should know: The Kentucky Derby is a 1.25 mile race of the top 20 3-year old Thoroughbreds. The event is held the first Saturday in May every year at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. It is known as “The Most Exciting Two Minutes In Sports“, “The Fastest Two Minutes in Sports”, and “The Run for the Roses” for the blanket of roses draped over the winner. We will give you a few tips on hosting a Kentucky Derby party that will keep you in the Millionaire’s Row versus the infield and some fun facts to help you plan your food, drink, decor, and what to wear for Kentucky Derby Day.
Key Components of a Kentucky Derby Party
The Drink: Mint Julep
The Food: Mint Garnish
The Flowers: Red Roses
The Hat: Large and fantastic or a Fascinator (especially if the party will be crowded)
The Dress: Bright colored, pastel dresses or bold black and white dresses.
A Fun Drink Fact: The Mint Julep drink is a traditional drink of the Kentucky Derby and if you aren’t into betting, then attendees can spend their bets on a drink. This is the eighth year that a $1000 Mint Julep will be available. Woodford Reserve fills a sterling silver cup that includes an engraved horse and rider, a gold-plated garland of roses and a gold-plated straw, and has sold $354,000 in the last 7 years from the sale of this drink.
Party Tip: A few gold colored cups or even gold rimmed glasses are perfect for a Kentucky Derby Party
Plan your next party: The Kentucky Derby is the first race for the US Triple Crown. The winner of the Triple Crown must win the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes also called the “Run for the Black Eyed Susans” for the blanket of Viking Daisies draped over the winner (Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland held the third Saturday in May), and the Belmont Stakes – “Run for the Carnations” (Belmont Park in Elmont, New York) held 3 weeks after the Preakness Stakes.
Note: When the party is over, tell everyone to meet again in 2 weeks in Baltimore to celebrate the Preakness Stakes
The hat is the most important part of your outfit on Derby Day
Tinsley Mortimer at the Kentucky Derby
Even a smaller hat is in good taste for the Kentucky Derby
But bigger hats are traditionally better!
Kentucky Derby Party in Millionaire’s Row
This is what it looks like in the infield of the Kentucky Derby. It is more like a frat party!
A view of the suites, grandstands, Millionaire’s Row and the Turf Club at the Kentucky Derby
Mint Julep chicken skewers is a fantastic Kentucky Derby festive food. See Little Leopard Book for the recipe