This year, we hosted our 1st Annual Kentucky Derby party! Since I didn’t get my act together fast enough, today I’ll be recapping the event.Like most of my parties, I wanted to keep things simple but detail oriented. I found a ton of great free printables from a Pinterest search and used them around the house. I went to Home Depot and bought the minimum amount of astro turf I could from the giant roll. It cost just under $8. I used it as a runner for the main table and as a tablecloth of sorts on the 2 smaller tables. The girl thought I was a little crazy when I said I only needed enough to use for a table runner, haha! Once I explained it to her, she suggested I take some of the astro turf samples to use as coasters. Genius! I also hit up my favorite spot for a deal, Dollar Tree, where I grabbed fake roses, a toy horse, baby shower ribbons and utensils. I put the roses in a silver trophy-like champagne bucket, sprayed the horse gold, and printed and cut out a horse head to cover the baby carriage on the ribbon. I had the mini trophies from our football party a while back but they are also from Dollar Tree. I whipped up the “Hold your Horses” print. The real horseshoe was one of 4 found in our garage after we moved in. It was a great touch. Jamie made the crate for me the night before the party when my original crate ended up being too big. What a guy!
We wanted an intimate affair of just family so we didn’t need a ton of food. Of course I made way more than need but better to be safe than sorry. I made derby favorites like Kentucky Hot Brown sliders and Benedictine sandwiches. I also made bourbon meatballs (frozen meatballs in the crock pot with a bottle of bourbon sauce, so easy!) and a bow tie (get it?!) pasta salad. My dad made the traditional Derby Pie and it was AMAZING! He also found these adorable chocolate horses at a local store. What a great touch!
For drinks I made a lavender lemonade and a wine julep. We knew we wouldn’t be too keen on the actual mint juleps so this wine alternative was a great solution. I used a bottle of pinot grigio, some ginger ale and muddled mint. So tasty and refreshing! I also wrapped water bottles with the free printables I found.
Everyone was encouraged to wear a fancy hat or bow tie. Even our dogs got in the spirit with a bowtie for Napolean and a polo for Monty! We had a great time and are looking forward to the 2016 Kentucky Derby!