8 Derby Day Party Ideas for the Win

By Jenn Rose Smith

It’s the fastest 2 minutes in sports, but that doesn’t mean a derby party can’t last all day. We’ve created a ton of Kentucky Derby party ideas over the years, and this spring we thought we’d round up a few of our favorites for your last-minute watch party needs. If there’s one thing we love about the derby, it’s the excuse to throw a full-on theme party where the guests dress the part. On your marks, get set…

photos by molly culver and kate zimmerman

DIY Horseshoe Placecard

We spray painted a craft store horseshoe gold and tied a grosgrain ribbon to it to create a fun placecard holder. It looks especially good on top of a seersucker napkin!

DIY Equestrian Ribbon Bunting

I created my own bunting using vintage equestrian ribbons (and a few faux ones that I made myself with a glue gun). We loved how it looked draped over a fireplace or mirror.

DIY Derby Day Hat

Why not transform an old summer straw hat into a custom derby hat? I used pheasant feathers, a faux magnolia blossom, and dark green ribbon to create mine. All elements were secured with a glue gun (and could easily be popped off at the end of the day).

Newspaper Place Setting

Chanel found this fun vintage newspaper cover online, so we printed it out onto office sized paper and folded it in half for a fun place setting element.

Serve Classic Mint Juleps

I whipped up a batch of mint juleps (THE drink of the Kentucky Derby) and served them in my mom’s antique sterling julep cups over crushed ice.

Trophy Cup Flower Arrangement

We borrowed this trophy cup from our equestrian friend Quincy and used it to create a pretty springtime flower arrangement using lilac mountain laurels.

DIY Rose Garland

I made my own easy garland using grocery-store roses and twine. It looked great draped over a fireplace or even around a doorway.

Mini Trophy Snack Tray

I picked up a few teeny trophies on etsy and filled them with berries and crackers to dress up a snack plate on derby day.