Kentucky Derby Party Ideas

The first weekend in May means it is Kentucky Derby time, and that my friends means Kentucky Derby party ideas.

jockey-horse-racing-Churchill-Downs

Racing at Churchill Downs

Horse racing enthusiasts, socialites and celebrities will flock to Churchill Downs this Saturday to view the Run for the Roses.

Racing the Wind Horse and Jockey Wall Décor

Racing the Wind Horse and Jockey Wall Décor

For those of us not making the jaunt, an excellent opportunity to get down and get derby is just a julep jubilee away.

In other words, if you can’t be live and in person at the Derby create your own Kentucky Derby extravaganza.

morning-race-Churchill-Downs

Churchill Downs

Kentucky Derby party ideas revolve around traditions, red roses, mint juleps and fascinating fashions.

fresh-red-rose-bouquet

Mint Julep Cup

For her

Derby-hat-black-pink-rose-pin (1)

Red Golden Rose Embroidered Mesh Midi Skirt

Red Golden Rose Embroidered Mesh Midi Skirt

For him

Derby-bow-tie-cuff-links

Men’s Horse-Bit Silver-Tone Stainless Steel Cuff Links

Derby dazzling accessories in gold and silver for Kentucky Derby Day and beyond.

Patricia Nash Gold-Tone Horse Cameo Pendant Necklace

Gold-Tone Pavé Horse Bit All-Around Collar Necklace
Horse And Carriage Stud Earrings
Patricia Nash Gold-Tone Horse Cameo Pendant Necklace

Now let’s switch gears and show and tell Kentucky Derby party ideas.

And they’re off!

brown horse head wall accent

Hobby Lobby

Working with a theme makes coming up with ideas an easy exercise in Derby decorating.

faux-grass-table-runner

Horse races are run on dirt courses and turf races.

Dirt is not something I recommend dressing out a lovely party food table in. I mean come on, who wants to decorate a party food table with dirt?

Anywho…

green-reindeer-Spanish-moss

Emulate the look of a turf race with a faux grass table runner.

Spanish and/or reindeer moss pairs well or as stand alone centerpiece additions.

blooming-red-roses

Red roses rule the Run for the Roses and make a strong show the next day for Mother’s Day.

See where this getting a lot of bang for your buck decorating logic is going?

Polystone Horse Head Sculpture

Polystone Horse Head Sculpture

Red Rose Floral V Wreath Wreath

Red Rose Floral V Wreath Wreath

Centerpiece equation solved with one horse head sculpture/statue sitting in the middle of a red rose floral wreath is Kentucky Derby divine.

Derby-centerpiece-roses-horse-statue-idea

Pick up several faux stems of roses to fill in bare areas, and voilà!

Simply dismantle the centerpiece after your Derby party and use the wreath for your Mother’s Day brunch-lunch-dinner centerpiece.

red-tulle

Look at you, you decorating smarty designing and decorating a smashing Derby party.

DIY-run-for-the-roses-table-runner

Over on the Kentucky Derby website is this tutorial for making a DIY Garland of Roses Table Runner.

Churchill Downs Race Coming down the homestretch

Coming Down the Homestretch 

For extra Run for the Roses Derby flair, I clip several roses from front yard flower bed and float in clear bowls.

knockout rose bush

Decorative Clear Glass Bowls

Warm water works best, and I drop a low dose aspirin in the water to prolong the life of the roses.

Artificial Flowers Silk Rose Flowers

No real roses?

Red Rose Kissing Ball

Red Rose Kissing Ball

No real problem.

Design-Toscano-The-Six-Stallions-of-the-Hippodrome

Design Toscano The Six Stallions of the Hippodrome

roses-in-trophy-cups-Kentucky-Derby-party-ideas-photo-Michael-Partenio

Better Homes & Gardens – Photography by Michael Partenio

Faux rose bouquets placed in striking vases, champagne buckets, on trays, or in trophy cups works beautifully as well.

Nickel Etched Trophy

Nickel Etched Trophy with Handles

Super stylish option.

Light Brown Magazine Leather Basket

Light Brown Magazine Leather Basket

Incorporating the traditional aspects of horse racing into my Kentucky Derby party ideas such as riding boots, horseshoes, and a riding helmet or two is not as difficult as one would think.

Riding Boots Stacked Heel

Women’s Riding Boots

Spring is a great time of the year in retail sales to locate a pair of riding boots on sale or clearance.

Riding boots will work perfect in my Kentucky Derby party ideas scheme.

Saturday’s centerpiece will become my new fall fashion boots.

Now that’s getting your money’s worth.

Charlotte-Moss-blue-and-white-accents-roses-in-vase

Charlotte Moss – Photography by Brittany Ambridge

Several small arrangements of cut roses set on tabletops continues the Run for the Roses theme.

roses-house-and-garden

House & Garden

A combination arrangement of red and white roses perfectly fits in with the Run for the Roses motif.

rosesHGTV

Party decorating goes with a clever DIY project, and my list of Kentucky Derby party ideas includes one that is relatively simple to execute.

Fully sanded-ready to paint wood cutouts painted in your choice of color(s) carry out the horse racing theme.

horse-wood-cutouts

Growing Tree Gallery on Etsy

Scatter about tabletops, prop and position around serving trays, centerpiece embellishments, cake toppers, monogram with party attendees initials as take home favors- you get the idea.

mint-julep-silver-tray

Garden & Gun- Photography by Margaret Houston 

Horse racing reigns supreme in Louisville, and the traditional beverage of Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby is the Mint Julep.

Ingredients

½ oz. superfine sugar

1 oz. hot water

8 mint leaves, plus one mint sprig

2 oz. bourbon

Directions

Dissolve the sugar in the water in an old-fashioned glass or Mint Julep cup.

Add mint leaves and gently press with a spoon.

Add the bourbon of your choice, fill the glass with crushed ice, and stir.

Place mint sprig in the ice alongside a short straw, and serve.

-Garden & Gun

mint-julep-cup-crushed-ice

Acopa Alchemy 16 oz. Stainless Steel Mint Julep Cup with Beaded Detailing

Mock Mint Julep (non-alcoholic julep)

Ingredients

2 cups cold water

2 cups granulated sugar

8 fresh mint sprigs (for syrup)

½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

32 ounces Ginger Ale soda, chilled

8 cups crushed ice

8 fresh mint sprigs for garnish or more to desired taste

Directions

In a large saucepan, bring, water, sugar, lemon juice and mint leaves to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently until sugar is completely dissolved.

Allow mixture to cool.

Strain cooled simple mint syrup and discard mint leaves.

Fill your mint julep cups with crushed ice, ½ cup Ginger Ale soda, and ½ cup mint syrup.  Stir to incorporate flavors.

Garnish with fresh mint sprigs.

Makes 8 servings.

Arthur-Court-horse-pitcher

Arthur Court Designs Horse Pitcher

Leather Round Decorative Serving Tray with Handles

Leather Round Decorative Serving Trays with Handles

derby-cocktail-accessories

Horse Drink Stirrers

Horse Drink Stirrers

Please drink responsibly.

Kendall-Jackson-Derby-wines

Here’s a fun serving idea for other beverages requiring ice cubes- rose petal and fresh mint ice cubes.

Gently remove rose petals and fresh mints leaves from stems and lightly wash to remove any debris.

freezing-rose-petals1

Place rose petals into each water filled compartment.

Enhance the flavor of mint ice cubes by also adding a generous squeeze of fresh lemon juice to the water.

Better yet, use sweet iced tea infused with fresh lemon juice instead of water.

Freeze and enjoy.

fresh mint ice cubes

Pick up several nickel-plated serving trays from Dollar Tree in assorted shapes and sizes to use for servings mint juleps and appetizers.

nickel-metal-serving-trays

pimento-cheese-walnuts-silver-tray

Pimento cheese is a Derby delicacy.

Adding a dash of Creole seasoning or Louisiana hot sauce along with a handful or two of chopped walnuts to store bought pimento cheese brings the c’est si bon to the party.

Derby-appetizers-on-silver-trays

stirrup-hors-d'oeuvre-forks

Stirrup Hors d’oeuvre Forks

Spode-horse-plates

Spode Woodland Thoroughbred Horse Dinner Plate

Going through my media files for this post I spotted the gorgeous bowl I sourced for my Mother’s Day Gift Ideas post.

Antique RS Germany Cabbage Leaf Porcelain Bowl

Antique RS Germany Cabbage Leaf Porcelain Bowl

Encore presentation worthy for sure, I feel confident in suggesting the use of vintage beauties such as this one for Kentucky Derby party pieces.

Kentucky Hot Brown open-faced sandwich

The Kentucky Hot Brown sandwich, a Kentucky original recipe created in 1926 at the Brown Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky, is a perfect Derby Day menu choice.

This recipe from SheKnows plates turkey, bacon, Parmesan cheese, tomatoes and a heavy-handed dollop of bechamel sauce together in all its delicious, rich and Kentucky tradition glory.

Click HERE for recipe.

Butter Pecan Praline Cake

Heather of Sprinkle Bakes recipe fame comes in first place in the winner’s circle with her recipe for Butter Pecan Praline Cake.

silver-horse-theme-cake-stand-dome

fresh-red-roses-cake-topper

If baking does not fit into your party schedule or itinerary, consider picking up your favorite cake at a local or grocery store bakery and adding embellishments of choice.

whipped-topping-on-pecan-delight-pie

Copycat-Piccadilly-Pecan-Delight-Pie (1)

Pecan Delight Pie

Pecan Delight pie works, too.

Keep your eyes out for riding helmets and equestrian accents at antiques and resale shops.

green-velvet-jockey-helmet

Green Velvet, Horse RIDING HELMET/Hat COVER

Perhaps a tip of the hat to a more formal affair prop.

Victorian-style-felt-top-hat

Derby-horse-racing-theme-throw-pillow

Rio ‘Kentucky Derby’ 16 X 16 Decorative Throw Pillow

Linen-Wood-Foam-Equestrian-Footstool-with-Wood-Stain-Finish-and-Nail-Heads

Linen/Wood/Foam Equestrian Footstool

Avalon Solid Monogram Wool and Cashmere Throw Decor H Blanket

Avalon Solid Monogram Wool and Cashmere Throw Decor H Blanket

Kentucky-Derby-party-ideas

Kentucky-Derby-Decor

Kentucky Derby Party Ideas Checklist:

Scrapbook paper in 12×12 sheets found at craft stores make perfect Derby party placemats

OFF TO HORSE RACES TRIPLE CROWN 2PCS SCRAPBOOK PAPER DOUBLE SIDED

red-roses-paper-single-sheets

Fresh or faux roses

red knockout roses

red-rose-tulle

White & Multi Spiky Rose Trim

Rose Trim-Tulle

Mint julep cups – a Derby must.

mint julep cups set

copper-mint-julep-cups

Mint Julep Cups

silver-horse-cocktail-picks-set-of-4

Silver Horse Cocktail Picks, Set Of 4

Lovely!

Roses Are Red Disposable Lunch Paper Napkins 3-Ply 60 Count Napkins

Roses Are Red Disposable Lunch Paper Napkins 3-Ply 60 Count Napkins

Fresh mint clippings for mint juleps.

Simple and fragrant, float fresh mint sprigs in clear cut glass bowls slightly filled with warm water.

fresh-mint-in-clear-bowl

Dollar store trays with the look of silver.

nickel-metal-serving-trays

Tractor Supply meets the Derby need with nickel plated horse bits to use as napkin rings and horseshoes in packs of 4.

mouth bit for horse

Diamond Plain Bronco Horseshoe, Size 0, Pack of 4

Here’s to traditions and celebrating the Run for the Roses with win, place and show-stopping Kentucky Derby party ideas.

Love your style!

Show & Tell

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.