The Kentucky Derby is less than a month away! If you’re not going to Derby this year, don’t worry. There are so many ways to celebrate the Derby season and have fun with family and friends. One of the most common ways to celebrate around the bluegrass is to throw a Derby party. Derby parties are a great way to gather friends to watch the most exciting two minutes in sports. Here are some ways to make your party fun and memorable for all of your guests.

It is important to serve foods that are special to Kentucky and are easy to serve to a large group. Here are a few of our most recommended foods to make for a Derby party.

Derby Snacks

(Photo by

  • Hot Brown Sliders: Hot Browns Sliders are a staple in Kentucky and when made in slider-form, they are the perfect finger food for your Derby party. Not to mention, they are absolutely delicious. We love the recipe found HERE.
  • Benedictine Spread: A delicious, creamy spread is perfect to serve alongside crackers, toast, or on sandwiches. It is a great finger food and is loved by everyone from kids to adults.
  • Vegetable Tray: A veggie tray is a simple addition to your Derby spread, and let’s face it, it’s an easy way to get some nutrition on the table. Serve with some kind of veggie dip, or your benedictine, and it’s a hit!
  • Derby Pie: We can’t forget dessert, and there is no other dessert more perfect for Derby day than Derby Pie. This classic pie is a staple of the Derby season and is a must have at any party.


Serving cocktails and delicious drinks will keep your guests refreshed and allow you to show off your cocktail-making skills. Here are few of the classics you have to have on the menu.

MInt Juliep

(Photo by Camille Styles)

  • Mint Julep: You can’t have a derby party without the Mint Julep. This drink dates back to the eighteenth century and has been a staple at Churchill Downs since 1938. We love this classic recipe from Camille Styles, which can be found HERE.
  • Oaks Lilly: The Oaks Lilly has quickly become another Churchill Downs tradition, and has become the official drink of Oaks day. This vodka based drink is perfectly pink and delicious.
  • Lemonade: For the kids and those who prefer non-alcoholic drinks, a classic batch of lemonade is the perfect, cool drink. This sweet drink is sure to please all of your guests.
  • Sweet Tea: Almost everyone in the South loves a glass of sweet tea, so having this at your Derby party is sure to please your guests.


Your decor sets the mood of the party, and the Derby has a very specific style. Try some of these decor ideas for a knockout set-up for your party.

Derby Table Decor

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  • Garland of Roses: We are all familiar with the garland of roses awarded to the winning horse on Derby day. Use these gorgeous flowers as inspiration for your Derby party. Make a garland of roses of your own, whether real or fake, and have it draped along the table where you are serving the food. Additionally, you could make small bouquets of roses instead. Both are sure to create a great atmosphere and leave your house smelling wonderful.
  • Horseshoes: Horseshoes are a great theme to tie into the decor. You can make a garland out of paper horseshoes, or buy the game of horseshoes and have it set up in your backyard. Not only does this get your guests in the Derby spirit, but it also provides some outdoor entertainment.

No matter what recipes and decor items you decide to use for your party, you are sure to have a great time with family and friends celebrating the Kentucky Derby.

If you throw a Derby party this year, share your decor ideas and photos with us! Which recipes do you plan to try this year?

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