The Run for the Roses is happening this weekend, and if you are not one of the lucky few who actually get to go to the track to watch the race, you should get together with a bunch of friends to watch on TV. It is a great excuse to eat some good ol’ southern comfort food, dress up, and party with some friends. You could even make a few friendly wagers on who will win. This is my inspiration for a Kentucky Derby Party.
As always, the invitations are the first out of the gate. Anything with a horse and jockey, roses, or horseshoes will work great, and keep mind the color scheme you use for them, because that will be the jumping point for the rest of the decor.
Red roses are what the winner gets at the end of the race, so that is the flower most often used to decorate for a party; to re-emphasize the connection to the winner’s circle, put the flowers in silver vases, like the trophy. For the rest, keep it preppy and fun with stripes or whites or go the rustic route with reds and burlap. Horse figurines, lawn jockeys, and horseshoes are great little aspects that help set the mood. You can even set up a betting booth and bar to give it the race-track feel.
Food and Drink
Classic southern comfort food, like fried chicken and mashed potatoes, mac n’ cheese, pecan pie, collard greens. A “hot brown” sandwhich is also a great choice. If you want lighter food, these stuffed cucumbers are delicious. For drinks, you cannot go wrong with Kentucky bourbon, or the class Derby drink the Mint Julep. If your pick wins, pop a bottle of champagne to celebrate.
Normally, I do not mention how people should dress for a party, because that is up to the discretion of the host, but this kind of party is different. Everyone should dress up in nice dresses, slacks and button downs, and of course, crazy big hats.
I’m off to the races to party like its the Kentucky Derby!