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Kentucky Derby Mint Julep Party |



   Kentucky Derby - Run For The Roses 

   May 3, 2014 - 140th Kentucky Derby



Party Ideas by Party Consultant Michelle Hylton         Updated: 02/21/2015

(Items in party plan from multiple vendors.)


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!


Kentucky Derby Fundraiser

Hold a "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 money:

1. Admission Ticket/Food Sales at Event

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.


Invitation Ideas

Personalized Kentucky Derby Invitations

Use the Stub for Door Prize Entries!

Kentucky Derby Mint Julep Party |


Kentucky Derby Ticket Invitations |


Kentucky Derby Photo Ticket Invite |


 Kentucky Derby Invitations |

  Kentucky Derby Invitations Pkg/8


Kentucky Derby Tablescape |
Get Your Party Started  
Buffet/Party Tables Derby Fun Southern Barbeque

Set up your buffet with red, black or white table covers and scatter with silk red rose petals.

 Kentucky Derby Lunch Napkins |


Wrap utensils in Kentucky Derby napkins and tie with raffia and place in tin metal bucket at start of buffet table.

 Kentucky Derby Personalized Centerpieces | #kentuckyderby

Kentucky Derby 2014 Centerpiece Personalized Centerpiece  |

 Rose Topiary Centerpiece Red | | #kentuckyderby

Decorate your tables with personalized Kentucky Derby Personalized Centerpieces , Kentucky Derby 2014 Personalized Centerpiece or red rose topiaries.

 Candy Buffet Clear Containers |

 Candy Buffet Clear

Container Set and

Candy Scoop Set


Fill with fun candies or nuts for your guest. Three containers and stickers included, scoops are not include but are available separately. 


 Stretch Fabric Chair Cover White | Kentucky Derby |

For a more formal dining affair cover chairs with white or black Stretch Fabric and tie with red chair sashes.


 Kentucky Derby 2014 Yard Sign Personalized Yard Sign |

Greet guest with Kentucky Derby 2014 Personalized Yard Sign.


 Kentucky Derby Plates |

Make it a fun event with

 the Official Kentucky Derby Partyware.

 Plastic Jockey Helmets | Kentucky Derby |

Derby Day Whirls Pkg/5|


Decorate around the room with any of the following themed decor:

Kentucky Derby Sign 2014 | Kentucky Derby Sign 2014



 Kentucky Derby Balloons |


 Kentucky Derby Balloons  Horse Mylar Balloon | Kentucky Derby |


 Western Money Bag |

Western Money Bag


To match this year's official party goods add black, gold,  red and light blue balloons around your party room with some horse mylar balloon tie them to these fun money bags and place around the room. Fill money bag with rice or add a weight and then stuff with newspaper to give fullness to the bag. 

Kentucky Derby Barbeque Party |

Keep it simple on the grill and then come in for the big race. Serve up your food with the Bandana Print Basic Kit-N-Kaboodle party kit.

Bandana Print Basic Kit-N-Kaboodle |


 Tin Metal Buckets Dozen |

Use Tin Metal Buckets filled with party snacks on picnic tables. Create a table centerpiece with some of this mini 12" Straw Bales.


 Silverado Horseshoe Entrance Silverado Horseshoe Entrance


 Bandana Print Pennant Banner

 Bandana Print Pennant Banner









Make an Impression  

 Kentucky Derby Rose Horseshoe Standee |

  Kentucky Derby Rose Horseshoe Standee

 Kentucky Derby Run For The Roses Standee  |

  Kentucky Derby Run For The Roses Standee

 Kentucky Derby Winning Horse Standee  |

 Kentucky Derby Winning Horse Standee

 Kentucky Derby Trophy Standee  |

 Kentucky Derby Trophy Standee

 Kentucky Derby Rose Horseshoe Arch  |

 Kentucky Derby Rose Horseshoe Arch

 Kentucky Derby Mint Julep Standee  |

 Kentucky Derby Mint Julep Standee

 Churchill Downs Spire Entrance Churchill Downs Spire Entrance  Kentucky Derby Red Carpet Photo Standee Kentucky Derby Red Carpet Photo Standee

 Horse Race Tote Board Standee

  Horse Race Tote Board Standee


Party Extras  
 Kentucky Derby Tote Stickers Kentucky Derby Tote Stickers  Fanci-Fetti Horses

  Fanci-Fetti Horses

 Kentucky Derby 10 oz. Cups Kentucky Derby 10 oz. Cups

 Plastic Table Skirt Classic Red  | Plastic Table Skirt Classic Red


Plastic Table Skirt Black Velvet

 Round Polyester Tablecloth Black  | 90" Round Polyester Tablecloth Black

  120" Round Polyester Tablecloth Black

 Gossamer | Gossamer 60"x25 Yd Black


Gossamer 60"x25 Yd Red

 Ivy Vine Garland W/roses Red  | Ivy Vine Garland W/roses Red

 11 11" Glitter Roses Balloons Black Pkg/25

 Red Roses Pin with Brilliant Swarovski Crystal

Perfect for Party Hostess

Red Roses Pin with Brilliant Swarovski Crystal

 72 72"x24" Vertical Attach N Go Banner

Western Lantern  |

Western Lantern

Mint Julep Cup

  Mint Julep Cup

Glittered Horseshoe Cut Outs Pkg/12 Glittered Horseshoe Cut Outs Pkg/12

 VIP Black Plastic Wristbands - 100 ct.

  VIP Black Plastic Wristbands - 100 ct.

For larger events use wristbands for entrance or identify over 21 adults.

 Discount Tyvek Wristbands 






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 decorate Derby Hats (pkg/12) with craft 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.

Kentucky Derby Hat crafting  |


Piñata - Fun for the kids


 Horse Pinata (17'')

 Horse Pinata (17'')


 Royal Colour Pencil by Number Mini Horse  |

 Royal Colour Pencil by Number Mini Horse


 The Racing Horse Game

The Racing Horse Game

Win, Place, Show


As guest arrive, give them one each a Win, Place & Show Ticket. Guest write 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.  


Favor/Prize Ideas

 Red Roses Candy Jar Personalized Glass Candy Jar

Red Roses Candy Jar Personalized Glass Candy Jar

 Horse Shoe Charm (Set of 12)

Horse Shoe Charm

(Set of 12)

 Red Light Up Rose

  Red Light Up Rose

 Red Rose Hard Candy Lollipops: 12-Piece Bag

  Red Rose Hard Candy Lollipops: 12-Piece Bag

  3-D Red Rose Hard Candy Lollipops: 120-Piece Bag

3-D Red Rose Hard Candy Lollipops: 120-Piece Bag


 Dark Horse Chocolates 12 Piece Sea Biscuits

 Toy Horses Pkg/12

  Toy Horses Pkg/12

 40 40" Rose Lei

Beads With Derby Day Medallion 

Beads With Derby Day Medallion

 Horseshoe Fanci-Frames Horseshoe Fanci-Frames

 Plush Horse Plush Horse

Grand Prize/Auction Item 

Mint Julep Essentials Set Mint Julep Essentials Set


Kentucky Bourbon Pecans 7oz

Kentucky Derby Party Recipes & Drinks

Kentucky Derby Mint Julep Party  |

Mint Julep Recipe


 Mint Julep Cup

  Mint Julep Cup


 The traditional beverage of Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby!


Bourban Smash | Kentucky Derby Party |

Bourbon Smash


 Mint Julep Gelees | Kentucky Derby Party |

Mint Julep Gelées

To make these less strong, increase cold water to 2¼ cups and reduce bourbon to ¾ cup.


Long Island Tea |  | Kentucky Derby Party |

Long Island Tea


Click on image above

and check out Kentucky Proud Recipes.

Kentucky Proud supports Kentucky’s farm families.


Kentucky Derby Party  |

Visit Southern Living for some delicious Kentucky Derby Recipes!


 Makers Mark Bourbon Liquor Chocolates: 16-Ounce Box

Makers Mark Bourbon Liquor Chocolates: 16-Ounce Box


 Kentucky Bourbon Pecans 7oz


 Mint Julep Derby Almonds 7oz


More Derby Links:

 Everyday Low Shipping at | Kentucky Derby |


Visit my Kentucky Derby Board on Pinterest


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Party Consultant M. Hylton             Copyright © 2014 []. All rights reserved.                     Revised: 02/21/15       

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