Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

Derby De Mayo: Five Tips to Derby Day Fun

Whether you are a Kentucky native, or just temporarily living in the Bluegrass State, you know about the Kentucky Derby. It is the longest running sporting event in the history of the United States. People everywhere in the world celebrate all day for a tiny two minute race. Even if you don’t care about watching the actual race itself, find some friends and make a day of it.  Here are a few tips to ensure you make the most out of this celebration.

Image courtesy of: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

1. Dress To Impress

Fashion for the Derby is iconic. It’s big hats, Lilly Pulitzer and Vineyard Vines galore–the preppier, the better. It’s the time to pull out your best spring dress and heels that have been tucked away in the back of your closet all winter. It’s fun to get all dressed up for an occasion, but remember early May can get pretty warm or even rainy. Dress accordingly to weather and comfort, but just know that, besides the horses, fashion is the next staple of the Kentucky Derby.

2. The Classic Cocktails

With any event, you must have your refreshments. Over 120,000 mint juleps are served at the Kentucky Derby each year, so it is only fitting you have some at your party. If the sweet bourbon whiskey drink isn’t for you, you’re in luck because the Derby also happens to fall on Cinco de Mayo. All the more reason to have an alternate margarita station at your party for those who prefer the salt over the sugar in their drinks.

Image courtesy of: Kentucky Derby website

3. Southern Snacks

Along with your refreshments, it’s always a good idea to also have snacks. The classic foods of the Derby consist of things like smoked grits, fancy tortes and overly complicated salads. Simple can still be delicious. Foods like bourbon caramel popcorn, pimento cheese dip and chips, turkey sliders and bourbon balls are much easier to make (and also easier on the bank account). If none of these sound appetizing, you can also have tacos or burrito bowls to once again tap into those Cinco de Mayo customs.

4. All Day Amusement

You will have a lot of time to fill before and after the quick two minute race. Games will be an essential part of your day. Your entertainment doesn’t have to involve betting. Instead of money, the winner can choose to give out funny dares to the losers. A list of Derby themed games can be found here. Don’t be afraid to get creative and tailor the games to you and your friends.

5. Go All-Out On Tradition

The Kentucky Derby comes once a year. There are many traditions set in this 140 year old event. Any weekend can be a fun party, but not all parties can be Derby themed. Even if you aren’t at Churchill Downs, the Derby spirit can be wherever you are. Decorations can help spruce up your event, but the company and atmosphere you have is the most important. Take advantage of the fun dress code, food and drinks and enjoy the time you have celebrating with your people.

Image courtesy of: Sports Travel & Ticket

Abby Branham

Murray State

Abby is a journalist, cheerleader, travel enthusiast and fitness junkie. She is an avid believer of settling for nothing less than what makes you happy. Abby's life motto is a quote by Jack Kerouac: "Be in love with your life. Every minute of it."
Similar Reads👯‍♀️