It’s been a few years since I’ve been able to host my annual Kentucky Derby Party. What with the Pandemic, moving and the world on pause. This year though, I decided to break out the mint juleps, roses and yard games for the fun tradition to bring everyone together yet again!
Fingers crossed I can touch on most of the details of the party! Knowing me and my eye for the small details, I will have not taken pictures of something and leave them out.
Let’s start with the snacks! This year I wanted everything to be more bite sized and optimized for grazing. You see, my Tower (condo) is multilevel so the party was multilevel. Which means that we were moving up and down a bunch until the race. I served up the famous Kentucky Hot Browns (turkey, bacon & Swiss sliders), cucumber sandwiches, homemade pimento cheese, mini buttermilk biscuits, charcuterie, mini Derby Pies (pecans, chocolate chips & bourbon) and mini rose cupcakes (vanilla & buttercream).
For drinks I had water and peach tea on both levels as well as two bars set up for the cocktails. The cocktail menu had Mint Juleps, Oaks Lily’s and Slush. Slush is a good ol’ family recipe and was definitely a hit! It’s kind of like a slushy… or a snow cone… depending on how you want it served.
Since the Kentucky Derby is a classic 2 minute race, I like to mix it up by having classic lawn games at my party as well as a photo booth! I had croquet, horseshoes and bocce ball nearby with instructions just in case. For the photo booth I got a garden backdrop and had a bunch of fun props nearby as well as my tripod. There was a bunch of fun photos taken for sure!!
Here are some of the small details:
Roses // If you’re wondering how many roses decorated my house, the answer is 4 dozen. Yes, they were real! It was a very fun way to break out all of my milk glass vases.
Tool Box // The tool box centerpiece I picked up from a local boutique, The Cottage Rabbit and painted it white! It actually came with 10 of the vases and was absolutely perfect for the occasion! Of course you’ll see it again for other things as well.
Kentucky Derby Quilt // I designed, made, & quilted this beauty! The shimmering gold fabric doesn’t do justice in the photos. But it’s definitely a fun showstopper.
Kentucky Derby Bench Pillow // This is another one that I designed, made and quilted myself. It was definitely a fun touch!
Grass Table Runner // This is an Amazon find and sure to make a reappearance for future parties as needed. It’s been in my wish list for years!
Navy Striped Ribbon // I snagged the giant roll off of Amazon. I’m kind of a master at making bows and then just tied them on with a smaller string to the vases and such.
Derby Tea Towels // I actually bought 4 tea towels total, although I don’t think I snagged a picture of the ones in the kitchen. I bought them at a local boutique, La Jument. They were so sweet and even special ordered the Derby one for me just in time for the party!!
Blue Cocktail Menu/Game Instruction Etc. Signs // I made all of these! They are plexiglass and I broke out a trick I learned WAY back in high school. I actually spent a semester playing with plexiglass… I painted one side and simply added cut vinyl to the other. That way I can use them for years to come!
Horseshoe Wreath // I made this one night while I was puppy-sitting Lil R. So, I joke that she made it for the party! I had ordered the artificial roses from Michaels, snagged the wire frame from the Dollar Tree and just bent it into shape.
My White Fascinator // I opted for a fascinator in leu of a traditional hat and it was so perfect! It was light and airy on this warm day. I snagged mine off of Amazon and loved the headband option that it came with.
Derby Cups // The mint julep cups I snagged around my neighborhood on a local website for free. The navy stadium cups I got off of Amazon and then designed Derby-ish styles to add to them with vinyl.
Drink Stirrers // I bought a large pack of 100 from this site here. They are awesome quality and I can use them for many things!! I made a bunch with derby styles using vinyl. I also have magnolia ones for my bar cart.
…I think that covers most of it?
Lawn games are a fun way to keep guests busy as well as mingling until the race begins. I set a timer for when we need to mosey on in and make sure all the bets are in to gather in front of the TV for the longest 2 minutes. How about that underdog though?! Did anyone see that one coming?!?!?
My friends and family are still talking about the party! We’re even getting questions about food, attire and such already. So, if you have a question about a Derby Party feel free to reach out! I’m happy to help. Until next year for the races y’all! Have a blessed week!