Kentucky Derby Party Ideas

The Kentucky Oaks race, the race the day before the Derby, and the one we try to attend.

Living in Louisville, Kentucky one thing is for sure, you celebrate the Kentucky Derby every year like it’s a national holiday :)

Even though I didn’t grow up here I feel like I’ve embraced Kentucky as my home and find myself every year looking forward to the Derby and all of the great festivities leading up to it.  It’s the most wonderful time of the year… at least here in Louisville.

Last year at the Oaks

Each year we celebrate, sometimes we have people over, sometimes we go places.  Last year  I found out that 2 of our dear friends who moved away would be in Louisville on Derby Day and I knew it meant we were having a Derby Party.

Our Derby parties are pretty informal.  Usually just good food and good friends and lots of time to chat and let the children run around wild.  Sometimes I imagine my house smiling when it is full of friends.. (even though I know homes can’t smile). Luckily a friend of mine was taking photos last year (as I always forget when people are over) and I “borrowed” them from her blog :)

Here are a few photos from our Derby Party- like I said super super informal, along with some Kentucky Derby ideas I’ve shared before on this blog.

I’ve got 2 fun new Kentucky Derby crafts to share with you this week.. but for now, here’s our little roundup.

Cute girls all wearing their Lucky t-shirts
Yummy food, like Hot Browns made bite size and Official Derby Pie

For a knock off recipe for the pie check out Traci’s Blog


and since we’re all teetotalers – no bourbon in our mint juleps, here’s our “kid friendly” julep recipe.


Hot Brown bites made with this recipe, but with plain toast


and we debuted a new tradition last year- Derby Pie inspired cupcakes! You can thank my 16 yr old daughter for this delicious idea!

You should totally make them… trust me.



To make it fair (especially when you’re dealing with lots of little kids) we draw names for horses.    Then pass out prize bags to the victors!


Wreath purchased at:  Dees
Horse made by:  Yard Birds, a local company

If your in the mood to decorate a bit for the Derby you could make some placemat’s or a table topper!


and anyone who follows this blog knows me well enough to expect a banner for my fireplace.  Derby is no exception:



Last but NOT least, it’s not Derby without a fabulous hat!! I got a new one this year, and let me just say- you’ll see me coming!


Check out Ali’s guest post on an easy way to make Derby hats for your kids- They can even make them for themselves!



Win Place Show DIY Kentucky Derby Centerpieces– link to a full tutorial!

Kentucky Derby Party Ideas and printables on

Click Here for even more Derby Party Ideas!!! Including FREE PRINTABLES of the Derby Sign, Derby Banner and the centers of the Win Place Show Ribbons!!


Happy Derby Week!!
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Melissa Mortenson is the author of the Polka Dot Chair blog which is in its 7th year of sharing fresh and creative ideas with readers. She is the author of “Project Teen, Handmade Gifts your Teen will Actually Love”. Her first fabric line “Derby Style” debuted in January 2015 through Riley Blake Designs. A mom of 3, she considers herself lucky to be living in Kentucky.


  1. says

    those mini hot browns are calling my name…

    my BIL and SIL always have my niece’s birthday party on derby day- so we’re always in louisville on derby day, but never for derby. grr!

  2. says

    Can I come to your Party it looks like so much fun? We were in Louisville a few years ago for a couple of days and really loved it there but we couldn’t stay for derby. Have fun I will watch it on TV.


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