Derby Party for the Family

We love any reason to celebrate, and America’s oldest running sporting event (uninterrupted until COVID-19) is a GREAT reason to have a party. Here’s how Kentuckians get ready for Derby Day…

Is it even a party without festive food/drinks? Derby party must haves: derby pie and mint juleps. An easy, delicious recipe for the pie is found in The Kentucky Fresh Cookbook by Maggie Green (I highly recommend Maggie’s recipes).

Serve with homemade whipped cream to be a shoe-in for the blue ribbon.

After working the Kentucky Derby in Millionaire’s Row with sorority sisters, my mint juleps are unmatchable for the adults. I’ll post a recipe soon!

Decorate with mint, horseshoes, and roses for Derby Day.
And don’t forget your hats/fascinators, ladies!

We grill out before the races begin, but other Derby Day themed meals could include:

  • Country Ham/Biscuits
  • Burgoo
  • Kentucky Hot Brown Sliders
  • Fried Chicken
  • Spring-Mix Salads
  • Cornbread
  • Sweet Tea (adorned with mint)

Before the actual horses race, we are sure to have an afternoon full of games. We keep a Derby Day Spreadsheet (seriously) to keep everything organized and determine the winner of the year.

In the top of every column, we write our “horse” names. Sometimes we choose our favorite horses (Secretariat, Zenyatta, Seabiscuit, American Pharaoh, etc.).

Don’t have a favorite horse? Try this fun Kentucky-themed name generator:

Noble Goldenrod over here…

Pin-the-Tail on the Pony, Piñatas (especially great when Derby Day falls on Cinco de Mayo), Three-Legged Races, Egg-Races, Sack Races, Dizzy Bat (a Nod to Louisville Slugger), and Horseshoes are all part of the Race for the Roses. In the end, it’s all about having fun and just being together (and some *friendly* competition).

Egg races are my favorite!
But it might be because it’s my best event ;)…
Kids bouncing in burlap sacks may be the most adorable thing I’ve ever seen.
Pin-the-Tail on the Pony
Finally, the roses…

…And you’re off to a great start for your next Derby party! Wishing you a sunny Saturday!

Author: Neena

Neena is a Kentucky wife, mother, and beekeeper. Her first novel, THE BIRD AND THE BEES, is a Christian contemporary romance available now. Visit her at