Kentucky Derby Party Plan

Host a Kentucky Derby viewing party with these
race-ready recipes and table-setting tips.

Kentucky Derby Menu

Kentucky Derby Menu

And they're off!

Those three simple words signal the start of the most famous two-minute horse race in history.

The first Kentucky Derby race took place in 1875 and has been held on the first Saturday in May ever since, making it one of America's oldest sporting events.

If you can't get to Churchill Downs to see the Derby in person, host a winning TV-viewing party at home!

Guests will be jockeying for a position at the buffet table to sample born-and-bred Kentucky dishes such as Mint Juleps, Benedictine Spread and Kentucky Chocolate Pecan Pie.

Finish the meal in fine fashion with other classics like Southern Fried Chicken and Cheese 'n' Grits Casserole.

Kentucky Derby Table Setting

The "run for the roses" conjures up images of well-to-do gentlemen in suits and Southern belles in flowing dresses and wide-brimmed hats. Pair these casual recipes with an elegant table for a lovely look. Here's how:

  • As the "mane" attraction on your buffet table, look for an inexpensive horse sculpture. Or have a field day and set out a collection of horse figurines.
  • Remember the red roses! Place stems in one or several silver vases or scatter rose petals on the table.
  • Top tables with linen cloths and coordinating napkins.
  • This is the perfect occasion for displaying sterling silver platters and bowls. Put aside the paper plates and bring out your everyday dishes or china.
  • Consider holding the event outside. If your budget allows, rent a tent and chairs.
  • Greet guests with Mint Juleps served in traditional cups. You can find both silver plated and plastic mint julep cups on-line and at party stores.