A Kentucky Derby Celebration

All Southern ladies know the best part of Spring (besides the warmer weather!) is heading to the horse races! Whether it’s the Carolina Cup, Kentucky Derby or the Foxfield Races – who doesn’t love an excuse to purchase a new Lilly dress and show-stopping hat??

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If you’re like me this year, the only race you’ll see is the Derby on television, but why let that stop you from partaking in the festivities. Hosting a Derby party is a great way to bring your best gals together, put on your Sunday best and  indulge in one to many Mint Juleps!

Here’s a few simple ways to celebrate the Derby:

  • Send the Invites. The best way to set the tone for your Derby party is through the invitations. Whether your theme is a “Run for the Roses” or “Down and Derby,” you’ll want to set the stage for your guests from atmosphere to attire. Honestly – it’s better to be upfront with your guests so they know if they should put their drinking cap on or remain poised to perfection. {Remember the Kentucky Derby is May 3!}
  • Set the Dress Code. Okay, let me be frank – if you aren’t prepared for your backyard or home to be full of seersucker and pastels, then don’t throw a party themed around a horse race. It’s all about the bow ties, dress blazers, Lilly dresses, and big hats! Be sure to include this fine print on your invites to bypass any confusion.
  • Crafting the Perfect Mint Julep. If bar-tending isn’t your forte, find a friend who can craft the perfect mint julep! Southern Living has the perfect recipe (in my opinion) to making this must-have cocktail. To view this recipe, browse here!
  • Taking Bets. Because who doesn’t love a little friendly competition? Create a pool and have your guests bet on their favorite horse – even if it’s chosen because of the horse’s unique name! Remember, it doesn’t have to be pricey but if it does, oh well 🙂
  • Quick Bites. I was brought up with the hostess mentality that no Southern gathering is complete without pimento cheese or cheese straws! Make (or order!) both or only one – you can’t go wrong either way. Some of my other favorite quick bits are single servings of Shrimp and Grits, Petite Fried Chicken and Waffles, and Mini Kentucky Hot Browns! {Click on the quick bits to be linked to the recipe!}
  • Décor. Whatever your theme maybe let the décor do the talking. Keep it simple with red roses and mini trophys or go all out with DIY crafts to personalize your decorations. Don’t forget – taking the party outside for lawn games is always a fun option, horseshoes anyone?

Happy Planning!

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