Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Derby Day 2012 - Let's Party!

 Husband and I threw a Kentucky Derby party this past Saturday. We've lived in Florida for 11 years now and have never had a party. We're usually traveling or at a wedding or something has usually had us preoccupied. But we've never missed watching the Run for the Roses (I remember watching it from an airport one year). This year, about ten days before, we realized that we didn't have anything going on for Derby Day 2012. So we threw together a last minute party, complete with Kentucky foods and tons of roses!

We had prizes for the best hat (two men were chosen from a pool to be the judges) and we had a free horse draw pool with the top three winners winning a Starbucks gift card. We also had a betting station with Husband as the bookie, that way any of our party-goers could place a real bet. We had two Derby winners in our group!

Here are the pictures from the event!

It was a casual event, but I dressed up a tad in my Lilly Derby skirt from last season, a Lilly tee shirt, Stephen Bonanno sandals and my monogrammed hat from Marley Lilly all decked out with a ribbon on pin-on flower. The judges chose my hat to win because it was monogrammed (despite my telling them NOT to choose me as I was the host! We ended up doing a draw from a bowl since they refused to choose another winner. They kept saying "But your hat is monogrammed!!" How can you blame them though, one of the judges was wearing seersucker pants and a pink yes, he's a sucker for a monogram. His lovely wife, Tori, won the draw...a $25 gift card to one of our local preppy boutiques).

The entrance was decorated with our Kentucky folk art horse by Minnie Adkins. We also have a larger version of the horse up on our pass-through to the kitchen (which is where he stayed as he's not cheap to say the least and quite fragile). I also had my Coton Colors cookie jar out which was used for the horse pool. Each guest drew a horse and if their horse won the Derby, they received a prize.

The bar area was ready with wine, Mint Juleps, water, sodas and juice boxes. I also had picture frames placed throughout the house giving little tidbits on Derby history. We had to "school" these Floridians!

Yes, I printed out the words to My Old Kentucky Home, which everyone proudly sang right before the running of the Derby.

The betting station where Husband and the men crowded most of the time.

Like I said, roses were everywhere. This arrangement was for the food table and had a history of the garland of roses displayed.

Enjoying a Mint Julep. An acquired taste, I was surprised that so many party-goers enjoyed this refreshing drink.

The kids weren't allowed to have the Bourbon Balls, so out of the leftover chocolate, we made "Furlongs." That was Husband's idea for a name. Isn't that cute?

Here are the Bourbon Balls made by Husband. It takes him three days to make these delactable bites.

I made two Kentucky Derby pies infused with Bourbon. They were SO yummy!

I also made mini Kentucky Hot Browns. I used the recipe found in the Kentucky Derby Museum cookbook I've had for years and was genuinely surprised how authentic these tasted. They were a hit!

Derby Day in Florida was very hot. We have a TV on our porch so Husband often watched the undercard races from this position right here.

Some of the ladies who sported hats! We had around 30 adults and 20 kids at the party. It was a zoo, but fun nonetheless!

These are the horse draw cards I made for the free pool.

Fun was had by all and I'm already getting requests to throw the same party again next year!

Happy Wednesday Y'all!


  1. This is SO cute!! What a creative party!!

  2. Yes, you should make it an annual party! I may throw one next year and copy some of your ideas! LOVE!

  3. Looks like such a fabulous party! I love everyone's outfit. xo

  4. Hostess with the MOSTess!
    I had my same skirt on as well. tee heee

    Love and Hugs,
    Mrs. Kindergarten...aka...Madame Spoiled

  5. Great party ideas! It looks like fun was had by everyone too!

  6. What a fun party and great outfit! It makes me want to throw a Derby party next yer!


  7. Love the photos of your party. Your outfit is darling and of course, I love the hat! This year was not a happy Derby Day for us due to the passing of two friends...both of them LOVED Derby Day though, so my husband and the husband of one of the girls who passed away went to Tampa Downs to place bets in her memory! All the guys drank Mint Juleps and made a toast to her:)

  8. What a fun party. i am glad you finally got to have one.

  9. Your party looks like so much fun! I love the Derby! I was unable to watch this year as I had a Dinner Auction for work the same day! Boo.