This year get your friends rallied up for race day by hosting a ‘Day at the Races’ themed horse racing party. This post is dedicated to providing you with all the ideas, tips and supplies you will need to throw your own ‘A Day at the Races’ bash! Our friends over at PartyIdeaPros have done the research for you to find the very best invitations, party decor, entertainment, traditional recipes and more. Explore the best horse racing party ideas & supplies needed to throw your own fabulous Kentucky Derby bash and to create an extravagant event you and your guests will never forget!
A Day at the Races Theme Horse Racing Party
Mark your calendars. It is never too early to begin planning your Triple Crown horse racing theme party.
Updated Potential Dates Due to Coronavirus Concerns!
Kentucky Derby – September 5, 2020 (Rescheduled)
Preakness Stakes – September 19, 2020 (Tentative Projected Date)
Belmont Stakes – October 10, 2020 (Tentative Projected Date)
Join the Festivities. Attend the Races! Book Your Hotel TODAY!
A Day at the Races Theme Party Invitations
Choosing your invitation is the equivalent of the title of a paper … it sets the tone for the entire party! There are so many great horse racing theme invitations, Party Idea Pros had trouble picking just one. Here are our favorites …
Kentucky Derby Decorations
We are so excited – Shindigz has just released new Kentucky Derby theme decorations
A Day at the Races Horse Racing Theme Party Paper Goods
Loving these plastic plates and cups!
A Day at the Races Theme Party Centerpieces
The Kentucky Derby has become synonymous with red roses. Each year a garland of 554 roses is presented to the winner! So think roses, roses, everywhere. Use different sizes on different tables.
We generally prefer red roses for this theme, but we must admit these elegant julep cups filled with assorted roses and flowers work well, also...
Consider DIY if you prefer to stick with a more classic derby look. Simply add red roses to these lovely julep cups.
The Preakness Stakes, on the other hand, is associated with Black Eyed Susans. Since Black Eyed Susans are not readily available, consider using simple yellow daisies as a nod to the real thing.
A Day at the Races Theme Party Place Cards and Place Card Holders
Assign each table a jockey silk or hat and then write your guests’ names directly on the silk with a metallic pen. Both the coasters and the larger hats can work — it is a matter of preference. Out of the 3 options, we would probably go with the jockey hat coasters.
A Day at the Races Horse Racing Theme Party Favors
Any of the napkin rings or place cards can double as party favors but if if you wish to lavish even more gifts upon your guests, you can’t go wrong with either of these party favors. They will also add another dimension to your table setting. Order 1 party favor for each couple, 1 for each single.
A Day at the Races Theme Party Decorations
Horse Racing Home Accents
A Day at the Races Food & Drink Ideas
In the Kentucky Kitchen
There are a few born-and-bred-in-Kentucky dishes that you’ll see on every Derby party menu. The first is Henry Bain sauce. It was named after its inventor, who was the head waiter at Louisville’s Pendennis Club. Bain made the sauce in 1881 as an accompaniment to wild game, and it’s been a Louisville tradition ever since. A sweet, tangy, spicy concoction, this sauce is best served with beef tenderloin.
Another cornerstone of Louisville cuisine is the Hot Brown sandwich. Created by the chef of the Brown Hotel, this open-faced sandwich consists of two slices of toast topped with juicy roast turkey, tomato slices, crispy bacon and a blanket of Cheddar-Parmesan cheese sauce. The sandwich is then broiled until the cheese sauce turns golden brown.
From Louisville’s Benedict Hotel comes the Benedictine, a cucumber canapé spread.
Dessert on Derby day can only be one thing: a rich, dense chocolate-nut pie flavored with Kentucky bourbon. The original version of this pie is trademarked and fiercely protected by its inventors, but there are several unofficial versions of it: Run for the Roses Pie, Eighth Race Pie, Thoroughbred Pie and Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie.
There is only one proper drink to have at a Kentucky Derby party, and that’s a mint julep. A traditional mint julep is made with bourbon, muddled mint leaves and sugar, finely crushed ice and a generous sprig of mint for garnish. Almost every state in the South claims to have invented it. The time-honored way to serve a julep is in a frosty silver goblet, but you can use whatever festive cups you like. An extra-nice touch is to trim straws so they just slightly stick out of the cup. When guests sip from the short straws, their noses will be close to the refreshing mint garnish.
While it’s certainly not traditional, consider serving an alternate cocktail for the bourbon-averse: a tart, minty Mojito or a nonalcoholic Mint Tea Punch.
Loving these wines with horses in the name and on the labels! And best yet, if you live in Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Chicago, Sacramento or Oakland, you might be able to get them delivered to your door in just 30 minutes! How cool is that. And if you live elsewhere, Saucey most likely can arrange for delivery right to your door. No need to drive around town looking for these wines which would be so great to serve at your derby party!
Candy, Cakes, and Cookies
Horse Racing Party Entertainment
Music and DVD
Update – look what we found! A beautifully crafted game you can play all year long!
Party Clothing, Shoes, and Accessories
Nothing says you are spending a day at the races more than a hat — wear one!
Courtesy of Allrecipes Staff
The Derby hat is as longstanding and important a tradition as the Kentucky Derby itself. Almost everyone at the race or any Derby party will be wearing a spectacular hat, whether costly and custom-designed or made at home with a glue gun and imagination. Ask your Derby day guests to come wearing Derby hats, and offer prizes for the most ornate, the most stylish, the most creative and the most bizarre.
Or turn hat-decorating into a party activity: ask everyone to bring plain hats and a selection of ribbons, flowers, lace, tulle, feathers, plastic horse figurines, and any other hat decorations they can dream up. There is no such thing as too big, too bold, too elaborate or too outlandish. Provide glue guns, wire, tape, staplers and scissors, and let the fun begin!
Kentucky Derby T-shirts & Suits
WOW! Look what was showing up all over #KentuckyDerby143. Loving it!
Horse Racing Books
Heels down. Eyes Up. Ride the Corners.