The most exciting two minutes in sports takes place this Saturday, May 5th, as the 145th Annual Kentucky Derby kicks off the Triple Crown. The derby will be followed by the Preakness Stakes on Saturday May 18th, and the Belmont Stakes on Saturday, June 8th.
The Kentucky Derby, which takes place at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, is always a very big deal. The race, a Stake I race, draws incredible and unmatched betting crowds. The horses that participate in the race are trained specifically for intense racing, and for this short 1.25-mile track.
The race is always on the first Saturday of May, the winning horse and jockey are always draped with a blanket of roses, and crowds still pour in wearing their fancy clothes and unique hats, and of course, sipping on Mint Juleps.
Whether you are a horse-racing fan or just in for a day of fun, here are 5 must-haves to throw a stellar Derby Party:
- A TV, Ready to Go: On the day of, you will want to make sure ahead of time that there are no issues connecting to the action. The Derby will be featured on NBC, and you can find it on your local NBC station or on NBC Sports.
- A sweet hat (and corresponding outfit): Nothing says Derby like a large hat with some sort of fascinator. The impressive, grandiose hats seen for the Derby could have a competition of their own. Women generally wear bright colors or prints to match their hat, and men often wear classic Derby accessories, like needlepoint belts and pocket squares.
- Mint Juleps: Woodford Reserve is the official, presenting sponsor of the Kentucky Derby this year, and your party will not be complete without the classic Derby day beverage. The classic julep recipe consists of Bourbon, crushed ice, sugar, water, and fresh mint. There are varieties of differing versions you can find to change up your mint julep.
- Southern Classic Snacks: The official race day recipes from Churchill downs includes snacks like pimento cheese dip, tea sandwiches, bourbon maple popcorn, and many other options. A little sweet, a little spicy, a little southern.
- Decorations: Most party stores will have licensed Derby paraphernalia, and other on-theme decorations to set the tone for your event. Add a vase of roses somewhere too as a nod to the blanket of roses draped over the winner.
If throwing or attending a party is not part of your Derby day plans this year, check out the Connect Cincinnati app for special offers at local bars and restaurants. There is a good chance the derby will be streaming on TVs all over the city.