Every year, Jason and I host a Derby Party. It’s something we’ve been doing for about 6 years now and we love it! In the beginning, we only celebrated the Kentucky Derby, but over the years we’ve gotten more and more busy and can’t always commit to host on the first Saturday in May. So, for the last few years, we’ve changed it up. In 2014 and 2015 we partied for the Belmont – both times cheering for triple crowns and watching American Pharoah accomplish that feat for the first time since Affirmed in 1978 last year. This year we had other plans on Derby weekend, so we celebrated the Preakness for the first time.
There are a few keys to this party. First, we ask that all guests wear hats (no baseball caps). Many times guests will really go over the top with decorating their hats and wearing accompanying derby attire. Second, we always have the appropriate drink for the race we are watching – Mint Juleps for the Derby, Black-eyed Susans for the Preakness, and Belmont Jewels for the Belmont. This year, we actually had all three! Because we provide the drinks, we ask that the guests each bring a dish to share. Third, we have all of out guests (or groups/couples) select a horse at random to cheer for. Horse race is not something that many follow, so we have to give people a reason to watch. Those with the winning horse go home with a small prize. Forth and finally, we have all the guests vote for the person they think is the best dressed/best hat. That winner also goes home with a small prize.
Of course, I failed to have my camera handy DURING the party this year, but I did manage to capture some before pics.
In the future, I’d like to figure out some way to incorporate some betting and/or charity donations into the party… we’ll see what I can come up with! Suggestions welcome!