throw a kentucky derby party | olive june

throw a kentucky derby party

tomorrow is derby day! so i thought i would share some of my favorite inspirations for hosting a derby day party. we are heading to greenville, south carolina for a fun day with friends. i will share photos next week! it's not too late to gather your friends, enjoy festive eats, drinks, and enjoy a southern-style affair. my parents are actually attending this year- yay! however, it can be the derby no matter where you live ... 
so bring on the big hats, bow ties, and bourbon!

dress: at the party we attend, big hats, bow ties, and dresses are very prevalent {as we are celebrating in south carolina!} at the last party, my 'philly boy husband' had to get help from one of the southern boys to tie his bow tie properly! as far as a hat, i usually prefer a fascinator {etsy has great choices!} but also love the idea of setting up a 'hat making station' with hot glue, sun hats that people already have, flowers, toy horses, and ribbon. antique malls are also full of great options as well. here are some inspirations i adore.... 

drinks: i absolutely love the idea of having a mint julep bar set up! you can take an ice tray {remember those?!} and can put a piece of mint in the water before freezing for a little touch. perfect for kids to enjoy, too. they will feel more a part of the gathering! here is a recipe for making the perfect mint julep {from a louisville bartender}. to julep or not to julep?! craft beers, moscow mules, and different bourbon options are all great choices. 

decor: {my favorite part!!} i love the idea of searching for vintage ribbons {at thrift shops or on eBay} for creating a pretty garland. using flowers is another way to add color and charm to a mantel or wall. adding real or artificial flowers to a cup or straw can also spruce up a table or beverage cart. i love to buy seasonal and local flowers at farmer's markets {cheaper and often more beautiful than from a grocery store!} mercury or white hobnail vases are always a favorite. paper bow napkins are especially cute at a derby party. here is a tutorial from flying horse on how to make these. you can spray paint some toy horses from the dollar store {i recommend white or gold paint}. add some fun straws and you are all set! 
we usually play yard games, do quarter bets, and end the day with a campfire.
the weather should be perfect for us this year
listening to the race on a vintage radio would be super cool! 

eats: here are some delicious and festive options to add to any kentucky derby menu! my mom used to make derby pie when i was younger and that is my favorite!!
wow- just wow. 

and it's not a party without some tunes! 
i recommend: 
have you ever been to the derby? 
{i would love to attend at some point}
or do you celebrate with family and friends? 
wherever you are this year, gather around at race time and celebrate with a bottle of champagne! 
linking up with:  
Astleigh at Hill Collection  

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  1. I love looks 3 and 4. The horse stirrers are so cute!

  2. This looks like a lot of fun. Every your weekend!

  3. Fun! I love the 'Mint Julep Bar' banner! Such a great idea!

    1. i know, right?! so cute :) thank you so much

  4. I grew up watching the race but this year will be my first time attending a party. I'm actually pretty excited about it!

    1. so fun!! my parents went this year and had the best time! I would love to go some year... have a great weekend

  5. This is soo fun! Ive never been to the Derby or a Derby party!

    1. thank you so much! :) have a great weekend, darcy