The Kentucky Derby is this weekend and after a year of missed celebrations we owe it to ourselves to celebrate (in a safe way of course). Although COVID is still real, 44% of New Yorkers have completed at least one vaccine dose and I believe we have a lot to look forward to. Therefore, I decided to gather a small group of my vaccinated friends to celebrate what is on the horizon.
I’m from Saratoga Springs, a town famous for its horse racing. So, when I was thinking of ideas for a small and safe gathering with friends, I checked the calendar and noticed that the Kentucky Derby was coming up. What better way to celebrate than with a nod to my horse racing past after a year without seeing friends? I love themed parties and dressing up, so it was the perfect concept for a fun weekend event!
The Kentucky Derby was first held in 1875 and ranks as the longest continuously held major sporting event in the United States. This year the Kentucky Derby will be on Saturday, May 1. You can watch it from home via the America’s Best Racing website. They’ll have a live stream so if you want to throw a safe gathering with a few friends, make sure to stream it to your TV! While you’re at it, here are a few tips I have on throwing a horse racing-themed party.
HOW TO ENJOY THE KENTUCKY DERBY AT HOME
1. DRESS THE PART:
My favorite part of attending the horse races (besides watching the races) is dressing for it. When you’re throwing a horse racing themed party, encourage your guests to dress in bright summer or spring colors. Women should wear hats or fascinators. My friends Oneika and Laura wore fabulous black and pink fascinators, while I wore a Christine Moore Millinery hat. I also dressed baby Bella in a beautiful white ruffle dress from Bailey’s Blossoms and put a flower headband on her (since there were no hats for babies her size)!
2. DÉCOR IS JUST AS IMPORTANT AS YOUR OUTFIT:
Decorate your space with equestrian touches. I bought a white horse statue and rose wreath from Amazon. The winner of races normally is covered in roses so I thought it would be a nice symbol for the winner! Finally, I bought rose bouquets and placed them around the space to make it look lush and beautiful.
3. SERVE MINT JULEPS AND OTHER THEMED TREATS:
If you’re celebrating the Kentucky Derby, then you should serve the official drink! Mint Juleps are made with Maker’s Mark, mint leaves, and simple syrup served over crushed ice and then garnished with a mint sprig. My husband Luis made a plethora of delicious dishes for the party, as well. Watch the video to see them all (he made too many to count) but if you can cook (or order for delivery like me haha) then select your favorite party dishes for the main event.
4. BET IF YOU WANT TO (BUT START SMALL):
If you would like to bet, do it! I am not a big better, but I normally ration off $20 for betting because it makes the experience more exciting. If you want to do it too, then read this article to learn how.
Finally, have fun and relax! These tips will help you enjoy the Kentucky Derby at home. Horse racing shouldn’t be uptight. It is a beautiful sport with exciting energy. If you’ve never watched or attended, I encourage you to do so in the coming months. It is an experience that I think everyone needs to do at least once in their lives!