Louisville Home Owners As Derby Hosts and Hostesses
Many Louisville home owners will be watching this Saturday’s Kentucky Derby from Churchill Downs. Some will wear their best suits, summer dresses, high heels, and Derby hats on Millionaires Row while others will be in shorts and tee-shirts in the infield. But a lot of us will be at home this Saturday watching the Run for the Roses on TV with friends around. Derby parties here run the gamut from backyard barbeques with cold beer and horseshoes to high-dollar black tie galas complete with caviar, pâté, and celebrity sightings. Either way, a Derby party is the best way to celebrate the pinnacle event in thoroughbred racing without actually being at the track.
Hosting a Derby party can be a daunting experience, especially if you don’t know how to apply a theme to your party in ways that are fun without being over-the-top. Fortunately, there are a few easy things you can do that will ensure that this Saturday’s Derby-themed shin-dig will actually make your guests glad they didn’t make it to the Downs!
• Think about having a race pool ready when your guests arrive. Every Derby Day, the Courier-Journal prints a list of the horses racing in large type so that they can be cut out for those purpose at home. Ask your guests to throw in a couple bucks for each horse they draw. Having a horse to pull for in the race makes it all the more fun! You might consider having a loser’s pot too where the person who draws the horse who finishes last gets his/her bet back. If your crowd doesn’t like to bet money, that’s no problem at all - you can still have everyone choose a horse. Some Derby parties that start early in the afternoon have pools on all the races that run during the day, not just the big one that goes off on the first Saturday in May each year around 6:00 p.m.
• Even if a mint julep isn’t your drink of choice the other 364 days of the year, it’s fun to serve this classic cocktail on Derby Day. A drink made of only three ingredients - bourbon, mint, and sugar - sounds hard to mess up, but unfortunately, people often do. And a bad mint julep is, well, really bad. But you can make sure the ones you serve will have folks coming back for more by closely following good directions for this famous drink. Click here for a sure-fire recipe.
• Don’t even think about serving those mint juleps in plastic cups. Only traditional mint julep glasses will do. These sterling silver or silver plated glasses will add an air of elegance to any gathering, and they are must-haves at Derby parties. But they don’t just have to be used only to serve the drink after which they are named. They also make wonderful small vases for fresh spring flowers that can be used all year round.
• Don’t forget about the “other” Derby glasses. For well over a hundred years, a commemorative Derby glass featuring a unique design and the list of all of the past winners on it is issued annually, and party hosts and hostesses can buy them almost anywhere in town. Many long-time Louisvillians have quite a collection of these glasses and serve drinks in them each year on Derby Day.
The great thing about a Derby party is that it comes with a ready-made theme. By simply using a few of these easy party tips, Louisville home owners will turn what might otherwise be a ho-hum Saturday get-together into a fun and memorable Derby event. What better way could there be to experience the greatest two minutes in sports?