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Here’s everything you need to throw a Southern-style Kentucky Derby party at home

  • April 15, 2023

Anyone who lives in Kentucky knows the Kentucky Derby race may only last a couple of minutes but the party goes on and on and on. If you plan to throw a party — or parties — this Kentucky Derby season, (actually a two-week party starting in April,) you better start planning. The 149th running of the Kentucky Derby is Saturday, May 6.

From the perfect mint julep to festive decor, here’s everything you need to throw a truly memorable Kentucky Derby party.

How to set up for an at-home Kentucky Derby party

Lori and Tim Laird talk with designers Lesa and Richard Buckler with a luxury set-up for tailgating. August 7, 2015

Lori and Tim Laird talk with designers Lesa and Richard Buckler with a luxury set-up for tailgating. August 7, 2015

If you have the space, an outdoor Kentucky Derby party is a perfect way to celebrate the springtime event when the weather is nice.

It’s also easier to keep your company outside (and out of the kitchen) if you set up the food and drink tables on the patio, a deck, in the garage or under a tent. The outdoors provides more opportunities for Kentucky Derby-related activities too, like horseshoes, badminton, cornhole or stick horse races for the kids.

A small tent that you can purchase or rent will provide shade if it’s sunny. But don’t put all your eggs in that basket. Be sure to have a plan in mind ahead of your party for how you can shift your event indoors if the weather turns to rain. Seasoned Kentucky Derby fans know all too well that rain is always an option on race day.

You may like: Who has won the most Kentucky Derby races? Kentucky Derby trivia facts you should know

How to create a winning Kentucky Derby bar

Official Kentucky Derby glasses from a variety of years offer a smart way to help your guests keep track of their own glass when you throw a Kentucky Derby party during a pandemic.

Official Kentucky Derby glasses from a variety of years offer a smart way to help

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