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Kentucky Derby Party Ideas For Racing Fans

by ihearthorses

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The Kentucky Derby is right around the corner, and racing enthusiasts and horse lovers all over the country will train their eyes on this race. If you want to join in on the celebration, think about hosting a Kentucky Derby party of your own. We’ve got some great party ideas to help you get started.

kentucky derby party ideas to try out

Have Fun with the Decorating

When you’re decorating for a Kentucky Derby party, the possibilities are endless. Think about themes – horses, roses, horseshoes, and more – and put your creativity to the test. You can also decorate with items from your barn – hay bales, bridles, and saddles can make distinctive equestrian touches.

Make Mint Juleps

No Kentucky Derby party is complete without Mint Juleps, the traditional Kentucky Derby drink. There are tons of recipes for this popular drink available online.

Make Derby-Themed Dishes

As a fun twist, give the dishes that you serve Kentucky Derby names. Be sure to have plenty of appetizers available to snack on before the race. If you choose to offer dinner, then you may also want to follow up with dessert – a rose-themed or racing-themed cake is a great option.

 Baked colorful carrots

Have Stick Horse Races for the Kids

If kids will be in attendance, then a stick horse race is a must. You can even have children design their own stick horses by coloring in templates of the horse’s head and then attaching them to sticks or foam noodles. Be sure to have a small prize available for the winner.

Hold a Hat Contest

The Kentucky Derby hat is a longstanding tradition, and when it comes to hats, the bigger and bolder, the better. Hold a hat contest for all of the Kentucky Derby party attendees and see who shows up with their best Derby hat.

Three straw hats hanging on a rustic wood farmhouse wall. Closeup in horizontal format.

Request Derby Attire

For a fun spin on your party, request that guests show up in their best Derby attire. This includes Derby hats for the women, and fancy clothes for all. This can make for great photos and fun.

Host the Party in the Barn

Want to take your party one step further? Consider hosting the party right in the barn. You’ll want to clean up your barn aisle or lounge, and bring in tables and chairs. The barn atmosphere naturally plays into the Kentucky Derby theme, and can minimize the decorating that you need to do. It’s sure to be a party that your guests will remember.

red barns

Have Betting Available

Many people love to bet on the race, so make sure to provide your Kentucky Derby party guests with a way to do so. Consider opening up an account with a legal betting site so that guests can bet their luck on the horse of their choosing.

The Kentucky Derby is an iconic two minutes in sport, and it brings together racing enthusiasts with the general public for a very special day. Remember to invite plenty of people to your party to share in the event – chances are it will be a party that you’ll never forget.

Play Kentucky Derby Trivia

As you’re waiting for the race to begin, challenge your attendees to a game of Kentucky Derby trivia. Come up with questions beforehand and make a game of the event; offer up a prize and have guests form teams to compete.

Trivia sign

Create Photo Ops

Don’t forget to make sure that you get plenty of photos from the party. Consider creating a photo booth-type setting, or have multiple cameras on hand so that guests can take and share photos.

Serve Horse-Themed Snacks

Have a bit of fun with your food. Serve snacks like apple slices and carrot sticks. Bake a carrot cake and label your bar as the watering hole. You can get super creative with your cookie decorating. Think horses, horses, horses.

Have a Lottery Horse Draw

Want to add some competitive fun to the party? Have guests draw a horse’s name out of a hat when they first get to the party. Have a small gift or award on hand for whoever’s horse wins the race.

What plans do you have for your Kentucky Derby party?

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