Kentucky Derby -
Run For The Roses
140th Kentucky Derby
Ideas by Party Consultant Michelle Hylton
(Items in party plan from multiple
It was many years ago, when I went
to my first Kentucky Derby party. I had no idea what to expect, but was told to
decorate a hat and be ready to bet on some horses.
As we entered the party we were served mint julep and escorted to a ticket
counter. Tickets were sold for betting. The money collected was used for prize
money and there were some door prizes as well.
Taped to all the cabinets in the kitchen were signs with the names, photos and
odds for each race horse. Under each photo were 3 envelopes; First, Place and
Show. You would choose where you wanted to place your tickets. You would put
your name on the ticket and place it in a pocket.
Across the room was the large TV screen for everyone to view. Before the big
event started on TV, they held a Kentucky Derby trivia contest and gave out
Kentucky Derby t-shirts, mugs, hats, etc. to the winners.
At race time, the room got quiet. And then everyone was shouting for their
favorite horse. I think all of our voices were hoarse after that!
Then came the disappointment for those whose favorites didn't place, so they hit
the buffet line! As guest mingled the host/hostess pulled the winning horse and
ticket pocket. They then drew winners from each pocket to win cash prizes. All
hats were put on display for voting, the one with the most votes won a prize.
And yes it's the shortest minutes in sports, but what a great time we had!
I've put pulled together great
party supplies and ideas below to get you started with your party, so get
started before we head into the stretch!
"Run for the Roses"
benefit for your favorite charity. Contact local business to
help sponsor the event. Offer pre-activities like a local
band, Hat parade and contest, games, pony rides for kids, etc.
Set up large viewing screens to view the race.
Here are some ideas to raise
1. Admission Ticket/Food Sales at
2. Pick the winning horse - You
will set a price for each pick, let them pick as many as they
want. Draw from the winning horse entries for attendees to
win prizes or portion of money collected.
Hat Contest or Hat Making Activity
1. Ask guest to wear their most ornate
hats and hold a contest to determine the winner.
2. Set up an area where guest can
Derby Hats (pkg/12)
supplies. At the end of the party have a hat fashion show and choose a
winner by applaud.
Here was a hat I created a few years ago.
Piñata - Fun for the kids
Horse Pinata Kit
1 Horse Pinata
1 Pinata Blindfold
1 Pinata Filler
1 Pull Ribbon Pinata Conversion Kit
Royal Colour Pencil by Number Mini Horse
Personalized Pin The Tail/horse Game
Win, Place, Show
As guest arrive, give them one each a
Win, Place & Show Ticket.
their name and the name of the horse they think will win, place or show
on the appropriate ticket.
Have a drop box for Win, Place, & Show.
Guest place their tickets in the appropriate box.
At the end of the race, go through
tickets for all correct ones and then redraw a winner for each.
Kentucky Derby Party Recipes &
traditional beverage of Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby!
To make these less strong,
increase cold water to 2¼ cups and reduce bourbon to ¾ cup.
Long Island Tea
Click on image above
and check out Kentucky Proud Recipes.
Kentucky Proud supports Kentucky’s farm families.
Southern Living for some delicious Kentucky
More Derby Links:
Return to Adult Parties
Return to Main Theme Party Page