21 Ideas for a Great Kentucky Derby Party

May 7th 2016 will be the This Saturday will be the 142nd running of The Kentucky Derby.  What better idea for getting your friends and family around for a fun gathering, than celebrating The Derby?  You can check out some of my Derby party plans here and here.  I wanted to bring you 21 great ideas for your own Kentucky Derby celebration!

1.  Use brown sugar to make a racetrack on an astroturf-covered table.

Kentucky Derby Dessert TablescapePhoto:  Save the Date for Cupcakes

2.  Make derby horse cookies.  I love how Norene Cox created these cute little horses out of Pepperidge Farm Milano cookies.  Kentucky Derby horse cookies

Photo:  Party Pinching

3.  Use ribbon to make your dinner plates look like a winning ribbon!

Kentucky Derby Party TablePhoto:  The Polo House

4.  Offer up your guests a variety of Kentucky Bourbons for tasting.

Bourbon Tasting set up.Photo:  The Polo House 

5.  Decorate your door with a derby-themed wreath!

Kentucky Derby Door Wreath

Photo:  Horse Wreaths on Etsy

6.  Send out some perfectly appropriate invitations.

Kentucky Derby Party InvitationsPhoto:  Announcing It

7.  Use some really cool postage on your invitations.

Kentucky Derby PostagePhoto:  Treasured Invitations

8.  Mix up some Mint Juleps, the traditional drink of The Kentucky Derby!

Mint JulepsPhoto:  The Food Network

9.  Make some Benedictine Cheese tea sandwiches, a traditional Kentucky Derby food.

Benedictine Cheese Tea SandwichesPhoto:  Babble.com 

9.  Get crafty with these fun Kentucky Derby printables!

Kentucky Derby PrintablesPhoto:  Polka Dot Chair

10.  Serve up some of these roasted brown-butter pecans with rosemary.

Roaste Brown Butter Pecans with RosemaryPhoto:  Southern Living

11.  Dress up with a special hat for Derby Day!

Kentucky Derby HatsPhoto:  The Track Philosopher

12.  Serve up beautiful and delicious derby-themed cake.  I love this one all decked with red roses.

Kentucky Derby Cake

13.   Deck your party table with all kinds of Kentucky Derby napkins and plates.  There are all kinds of sources for these, but Party City is a great place to start.Kentucky Derby party suppliesPhoto:  Party City

14.  Create a really special centerpiece for your derby party, like this molded and moss covered horse.  Nestle him in a bed of red roses to keep the theme going.Horse CenterpiecePhoto:  Au Courant Floral

15.  Serve up a Derby Pie!

Derby PiePhoto:  The Polohouse

16.  Serve up Kentucky Hot Browns, the delicious open-face sandwich made with turkey, bacon and Mornay sauce, first served at The Brown Hotel in Lousiville.

Kentucky Hot BrownPhoto:  Parade by Conde Nast

17.  Give your guests tiny bottles of Kentucky-made Maker’s Mark as favors at your party.

Serve up tiny bottles of Maker's Mark as favors for your Kentucky Derby Party.Photo:  Setting the Mood

18.  Decorate the back of your chairs with big homemade rosettes.

Rosettes for the back of your derby party chairs.Photo:  The Polohouse

19.  Make some cute horse-blanket drink holders, and everyone can cheer for the horse with their number!

Kentucky Derby Drink holdersPhoto:  Rent Cafe

20.  Have some fun games!  How about a cornhole game with the game painted like Kentucky Derby jockey silks.

Derby silks patterned cornhole game.Photo:  Kentucky Derby Store 

21.  Add a little derby dash to your glasses by tying on a little horseshoe to each stem.

Tiny horseshoe charms for glasses



Make a Kentucky Derby themed wreath to welcome guests to the party!  You can get the step by step directions at How to Make a Kentucky Derby Wreath.  Whatever you do, or whatever ideas you incorporate for your Kentucky Derby celebration, watch the big show and have a fun time!

Similar Posts


  1. Hi Chloe,
    Love your ideas! We are planning a Taste of Derby Party and I love your cupcake table. Can you share how you made the fence for your table scape? Thanks

  2. Hi Chloe!

    I have a request!
    The photo you have here with the “Oh My Derby Pie” is mine.
    My friend and I staged a home for a house tour and used a derby day theme.

    Can you please change the credit to The Polohouse?
    I would really appreciate it.

    Thanks so much,
    Alison 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *