Friday, April 25, 2014

Kentucky Derby Party Ideas

With the sounds of bluegrass and birds filling the sweet spring air, tis the season to get back in the saddle of another Run for the Roses. The first Kentucky Derby took place in 1875 and has tradition in American society as the longest-running sporting event.  We love any opportunity to celebrate, so we put together some elegant party ideas for celebrating Derby Day in style.

The Kentucky Derby is so much more than a two-minute horse race, and you don’t have to be Churchill Downs to get in on the action.  With such rich tradition, fashion, and good ole’ sportsmanship, Derby Day is a charming reason to throw a southern soiree including fashionable getups {hello, fun spring hats!}, some friendly competition, and dash of your own traditions.

Featured Luna Bazaar decorations, left to right: Vintage Milk Glass Vase (fluted urn design)Vintage Milk Glass Vase (large fluted urn design), Poppy Red & Lamb's Ear Green Paper StrawsGlass Apothecary Jar (Tarragon design), Hand Crocheted Cotton DoilyLarge Mint Julep Cup (classic design)Mint Julep Cup (classic design)

Roses are the traditional Derby flower, communicating the timeless elegance of this event.  We decided on Red Roses & Pink Lilies* in silver plated Mint Julep Cup Vases, Milk Glass Vases, and an additional pair of Red Roses in one of our favorite Apothecary Jars.  This selection of elegant party decorations also looks amazing intermixed with antique silver objects, like the vintage heirloom Horse Show dishes featured in our vignettes.
You can choose any colors for your Derby Day party, but we wanted to keep it Kentucky traditional, so we are using white, silver, red and green with a splash of Pink Lilies*.  Take this look to the next level by incorporating Black & White Polka Dot and Kelly Green Pom Poms as ceiling decor.
*It is important to note that the Pink Stargazer Lilies featured in this post are extremely poisonous to cats {as are all members of the Liliaceae Family).  If you have some feline friends in your home and want to add a little pink to your party decor, we recommend steering clear of Lilies, unless they are of the Alstroemeria family, such as the Brazilian Lily and the Peruvian Lily.  Check out this thread on Apartment Therapy for more information about Kitty-Friendly Flowers.

To add some fashionable fun, host a craft night a week before your Derby Party {this weekend!} to DIY your own fabulous derby hats.  We found some affordable floppy sun hats at Forever 21 that would make the perfect canvas to get wild & fancy with ribbons, feathers, brooches, and flowers.  The day of your Party, provide flowers so your guests can freshen their bonnets and look their best!
Featured Luna Bazaar decorations, left to right: Large Mint Julep Cup (veil design), Large White Wooden Easel,  Vintage Milk Glass Vase (fluted urn design)

Outdoor day games are a great addition to any party. It breaks up the mingling, adds some friendly competition, and allows for interaction with guests that may not know each other that well. To add to your Derby Day party theme make {or source} 1st, 2nd, & 3rd place ribbons for the the winners of Horse Shoes, Corn Hole, Crochet, Frisbee, and Bacchae ball.
You can also place bets on the 20 horses racing at the Derby online, displaying the names of the top contending horses on decorative chalk boards on easels nearby.

As you search for Derby Day party ideas you'll find that the Mint Julep has been the traditional beverage of the Kentucky Derby for nearly a century. Though we're all for bourbon and mint, we also like to accommodate palates that prefer bubbles.  To serve a sparkling mint cocktail, review our recipe below, then visit Epicurious for a Classic Kentucky Derby Mint Julep review & recipe.
Featured Luna Bazaar decorations, left to right: Large Mint Julep Cup (feather design)Grande Silver Fleur-de-Lis Place Card HolderSmall Silver Fleur-de-Lis Place Card HolderSilver Concave Napkin Ring    

Sparkling Champagne Mojito Recipe
1. 3/4 cup sugar
2. 3/4 cup water
3. 1 1/2 cups packed mint leaves, plus 12 mint sprigs, for garnish
4. 6 limes, cut into wedges
5. 2 cups light rum
6. Cracked ice
7. 3 cups Champagne or sparkling wine
1. In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and water and cook over high heat just until the sugar has dissolved. Let cool to room temperature. * This is how you make simple syrup.
2. In a large pitcher, combine the sugar syrup with the mint leaves and lime wedges and muddle well with a wooden spoon. Add the rum and stir well. Strain the drink into another pitcher.
3. Fill tall glasses with cracked ice and pour in the drink, filling them about two-thirds full. Top with Champagne, garnish with the mint sprigs and serve.

Don't forget to visit our Derby Day Celebrations Get the Look! for a sweet selection of Kentucky Derby party decorations and accessories.

As always, we would love to see photos of your Derby Day celebrations!  Be sure to #LunaBazaarDecor

With love from the Luna Bazaar Team!

Photographed, Styled & Edited by Maia Bissette

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