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How to Host an Epic Kentucky Derby Party

The Kentucky Derby is held the first Saturday of May each year and thousands of people from different states flock to Louisville, Kentucky to watch the most awaited horse race of the year. However, Kentucky Derby is not just a horse race; it’s been a long-tradition and a brilliant reason to party. Not only people from Kentucky throw parties while watching the Kentucky Derby, millions of people watch the race in bars and the comfort of their homes across the country. It has been called, "The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports." Start planning your memorable Kentucky Derby party with some ideas below!


How to Host a Kentucky Derby Party


Party Decorations

“Run for the Roses” is the Kentucky Derby’s nickname so you can start from there when planning the decorations. Start with the classic flower, and add some boxwood topiaries. They can be perfect centerpieces or tabletop decorations. You can purchase inexpensive topiary forms and add some roses for a pop of color and a Derby accent.

If you want a more extravagant style, roll out a red carpet on the runway of your venue; cover your table with a silk tablecloth to represent the jockey's racing jerseys. Put a large trophy cup and fill the cup with roses as a center piece on the table and scatter some rose petals around the center of the table -- the more colorful, the better.


Party Outfits and Games

If you are throwing a formal party, you can encourage your guests to wear something fabulous to get into the Derby spirit with their attire. Specify the dress code with a more or the ultra-casual "infield attire.” Big and marvelous hats are always in style on Derby day especially for women. It’s exciting to hold a friendly Derby hat competition, "Best Hat" or "Most Creative Hat” contest. Just let your attendees know in advance so they can prepare.

If you are throwing an informal Derby party, you can wear cowboy attire with matching cowboy hat or whatever you’re comfortable wearing and you can ask your guest to wear the same. You can have a "Make Your Own Hat" contest. Set rules for the contest and provide the materials at the party, or you can have guests arrive wearing their own hat creations. Below is a simple DIY on how to create a derby hat.

 

Simple DIY Tips for the Perfect Derby Hat

Step 1: Pick your hat or fascinator base.

Fascinator disks come in every color, in different sizes and can be paired with a barrette or headband.

Step 2:  Choose from three elements of decoration: Flowers, feathers and netting

Flowers

Flowers can make a great center focal point and is a beautiful way to set the tone of color on your hat. With a flower(s) place in the middle, everything can get built out from that.

Feathers

Feathers come in different colors, designs and shapes and they often come in a bunch. However, they can be plucked, separated out, curled or used as a focal point in a hat. Feathers are expensive, they can be up to $12 a piece and can be manipulated into whatever shapes that you want.

Netting

Netting can help softens the complete look of the hat. They come in different colors varying widths of the weave such as Russian veiling, or netting with wide or small weave.

Step 3: Mark your hat and start building

  1. Place your hat on a stand and mark the front of the hat with a small piece of scotch tape.
  2. Choose which side you want to place your decorative elements on then mark it with a scotch tape.
  3. If you plan to use a ribbon to make a hat band, you will start and end the ribbon at the marked design for the decorative element (2). This point will be the center of your design, not the exact front of the hat.
  4. Use a glue gun to attach all of your elements and by using a minimal amount of glue, just a few well-placed dots, rather than a big mark of it.  You can also sew to attach all the elements, but using glue is faster and easier.
  5. Add flower or feather or whatever you decide to use as a center element first. 6.
  6. Add the netting.
  7. Add feathers, if you want them as accent pieces.

 

However, if will be using a fascinator disk, decide which side to put the decoration. Attach the disk onto the headband. Start adding decoration elements just like the steps use for the hat. First the center flower or feathers, the netting, then the accent feathers or pieces. Remember, you can use more than one fascinator disk.

Finally, add some fun Kentucky Derby magnetic wine glass charms to identify everyone’s glasses, whether you are serving a mint julep, water or wine. These adorable little cocktail markers make a great hostess gift and can be used all spring and summer. New to magnetic wine charms? Check out our curated collection here.

Start planning your party food and drinks now, the day that everyone is anticipating is almost here!

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