23 Kentucky Derby Party Ideas {food, decorations, printables}


The Kentucky Derby Race is celebrated annually on the first Saturday in May. This year it will be held on May 4th.  Here are the most creative Kentucky Derby Race party ideas, decorations, free printables, race horse and hat ideas to celebrate this fun occasion with your family!

Kentucky Derby Party Ideas {food, decorations, printables}

What Is the Kentucky Derby?

The 2013 139th Kentucky Derby is a Grade I stakes race for three-year-old Thoroughbreds, held annually in Louisville, Kentucky.  The race is one and a quarter miles (2 km) at Churchill Downs.  The race is known in the United States as “The Most Exciting Two Minutes In Sports” or “The Fastest Two Minutes in Sports” for its approximate duration, and is also called “The Run for the Roses” for the blanket of roses draped over the winner.

Kentucky Derby Party Ideas

Kentucky Derby Party Ideas
1. Kentucky Derby Party {Party Ideas} ~ Let the races begin!  The Kentucky Derby is USA’s oldest Thoroughbred horse races.  To commemorate the race this party was designed with a vintage-modern look, but yet remained fun.   The color scheme is in vibrant red, blue, and green.  There are many decoration ideas as well as food ideas.  And, if that wasn’t enough, there’s free printables! {score}

Kentucky Derby Party

2.  Kid-tucky Derby ~ This Paddock themed party is perfect for toddlers and kindergarten aged children.  The kids enjoyed jockey fuel lemonade, cupcakes, apples and they even had their own “jockey” horse race.

Kentucky Derby Party Ideas

3.  A Kentucky Derby Birthday ~ How sweet is this vintage shabby chic Kentucky Derby birthday party?!  It features mini hot browns, mint juleps, pretty silver trays and cups and horse food tags.  So beautiful!

Party Ideas

4.  Kentucky Derby Themed Party ~ I love the southern belle charm to this Kentucky Derby themed party.  White wooden crates added dimension to the table and the pop of yellow is sensational.  Some of the fun treats included  oreo truffle pops, cupcakes, decorated sugar cookies, banana pudding shooters and chocolate covered pretzels.


Kentucky Derby Decorations

5.  Kentucky Derby Wreath ~ Adorn your front door to welcome the annual Run for the Roses race with this fabulous wreath.  It would only be fitting that it have roses and a horse.  Right?!

Kentucky Derby Party Decor

6.  Run for the Roses Garland ~ In lieu of fresh roses you can make beautiful crepe paper roses.  They won’t die on you and you can make them in advance.  {wink}

Kentucky Derby Decorations

7.  DIY Ribbon Medallions ~ These ribbons medallions are so adorable and easy to make!  The mixture of ribbon textures and colors are fantastic.  The possibilities really are endless.  String several ribbons to make a garland or give them away as party favors.

Kentucky Derby Crafts

8. How to Make a Derby Drink Holder ~ There’s no horse’n around when it comes to wowing your party guests with horse blanket shaped drink holders.  Download the free pattern to make these festive felt drink holders.


DIY Horse Cookies

9.  Kentucky Derby Cookies ~ These horse cookies are absolutely darling.  They are easier to make than you think too.  And, there’s no baking.   Pepperidge Farm Dark Chocolate Milano Melts, Mini Nilla Wafers, licorice ropes, tootsie rolls for ears, and caramel for the mane.

Kentucky Derby Food

10.  Kentucky Bourbon Ball Pops ~ Who could resist these sweet and delicious bourbon ball pops?!  It’s a confectioner’s delight on a stick.  They’re the perfect sized sweet indulgence.

Kentucky Derby Recipes

11.  Rose Carrot Cake ~ Learn how to make a delicious carrot cake and then cover it in pretty buttercream roses! It’s actually much easier than it looks and I bet it will blow your party guests away!

Kentucky Derby Recipes

12.  Mint Julep Cupcakes ~ Instead of drinking a mint julep you can indulge in a sweet treat!  The recipe calls for bourbon and creme de menthe so this treat is for adults only!

Kentucky Derby Recipes

13.  Ginger-Peach Iced Tea ~ Quench your thirst with this non-alcoholic southern ginger-peach iced tea.  It’s made with fresh ginger, peaches and unsweetened tea.

Kentucky Derby Cocktails

14.  Mint Julep ~ Mint Julep’s are the “official” drink for the Kentucky Derby.  It’s a refreshing chilled cocktail made with fresh mint leaves and bourbon.

Free Printables

Free Printables

15.  Kentucky Derby Printables ~ These adorable free Kentucky Derby printables will definitely inspire you to throw a party!  From the cupcake toppers to the cake bunting you won’t be short on inspiration.  The entire set includes favor/thank you circle tags, cupcake toppers, cake bunting, invitations, blank invitations, fancy labels, drink flags and candy bar wrappers.

Free Printables

16.  Kentucky Derby Party Kit ~ All of the pretty Kentucky Party printables you need to throw an amazing party are included in this free kit.  The kit includes the invitation, a banner, cupcake wraps, place-cards, appetizer flags and a menu chart!  Simply e-mail Tricia at the Shy Socialites to receive your free kit.

Kentucky Derby Race

Kentucky Derby Decorations

17.  Run for the Roses Centerpiece Ideas ~ Three tutorials for gorgeous centerpiece ideas for a Kentucky Derby Party.  Number one is the “Winner’s Circle”, number two is the “Julep Roses” and third is the “Rose Bed Cube”.

Kentucky Derby Hat

DIY Kentucky Derby Hat

18.  Kentucky Derby Hat ~ Dress up a plain wide brimmed hat with organza, silk flowers and feathers for the big race day!

Kentucky Derby Hat

19.  How to Make a Kentucky Derby Hat ~ Accent a plain floppy hat with paper flowers and ribbon.

Kentucky Derby Hat

20. Derby Day Hat ~ Your child will have fun designing/decorating their own Derby Day Hat.  The hat is made from a piece of craft paper, white or brown and masking tape to hold the shape.

Derby Hat

21.  Cardboard Derby Hat ~ This tutorial shows you how to make a derby hat from start to finish using cardboard.  You can decorate it with paints, markers and add paper flowers.

Race Horse

Race Horse

22.  Race Horse Printables ~ Race to the finish with these adorable free printables.

Race Horse

23.  Race Horse Clutch ~ Learn how to turn a sunglass case and plastic toy horse into a glamorous miniaudiere perfect for the Kentucky Derby.

More Party Ideas:

Thanks Ladies! I just adore these tutorials! Feel free to grab my “I was featured on Tip Junkie” blog button. You earned it! {knuckle bumps}

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Tip Junkie ~ Laurie Turk

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Run for the Roses Centerpiece
Difficulty Cost Time Age Person Event
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Party Ideas