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Blog - EVENTS/TRAVEL

2011. The year Animal Kingdom, ridden by jockey John Velazquez, won the 137th Run for the Roses, and the year my husband and I decided to throw a very last minute Kentucky Derby party!

I wanted to bring back pictures from this party for two reasons: There are great decorating ideas to share, and I am thinking about throwing another last minute derby party this year, so I wanted to look back at what I did in 2011!

I’m sure I’m not the only one out there who practically waits until the horses enter the starting gate before finalizing any party plans. So for all those party throwing procrastinators out there…this post is for you!

Roses:

You can’t throw a Kentucky Derby party without roses! I literally made a run for the roses the day of the party…I just stopped by the local grocery store and bought a dozen roses. They made a perfectly effortless centerpiece.

ROSES MAKE THE PERFECT DERBY PARTY CENTERPIECE

Party -1

Mint Julep:

The mint julep is a Kentucky Derby party must have. Instead of making this classic cocktail myself, I went to a local liquor store and had the manager make two single-gallon jugs of it! When I got home, all I had to do was pour it over ice in a cute dispenser. Friends could help themselves to as many mint juleps as they desired!

MINT JULEPS ARE A MUST

Party -2

Fresh Fruit Kabob:

In addition to my finger foods of ham croissant sandwiches and cream puffs, I served fruit kabobs at the party. They’re tasty, easy to eat and the display looks like you spent a long time putting it together. The fact is, once I had all the items, it only took around 15 minutes to make! I bought a whole pineapple at the grocery store and fresh fruit (grapes and strawberries, fruits that require little or no chopping!). I placed the fruit on a wooden, disposable kabob, and stuck it directly in the pineapple. It was a last-minute party hit!

EASY FRUIT KABOB DISPLAY

Party -3

Fabulous eBay Find:

A week before the Derby, when I thought I might throw a party, but still hadn’t decided, I turned to eBay for a last-minute festive piece for the table (just in case). This is a great resource for finding random party favors, center pieces and more! I found the cutest set of jockeys on racehorses for only $6!! They made the perfect horsey touch.

HORSE RACING ACCENTS ARE THE PERFECT TOUCHParty -4

Croquet:

Since the Derby was over early in the day, I wanted to keep the party going in classic Derby style. Wanting to keep it classy (because it may not be a good idea to play flip cups in big hats or participate in beer drinking games with mint juleps!), I took a chance and bought a croquet set…and it was a surprising hit! We turned our back yard into a Derby Day croquet competition spot…little did I know that my friend Mike was a self-proclaimed croquet expert! We spent the afternoon laughing, drinking, and trying to play croquet!

KEEP IT CLASSY WITH LAWN GAMES

Party -5

*In memory of my Mike (center), who passed away in 2012 

Get the Derby Party Started!

It truly does not have to take much time and effort to create a fabulous Kentucky Derby party. I hope some of these ideas sparked inspiration for you to throw your own party and celebrate the 140th Run for the Roses at your home with friends and family!

Image Description

Chriss Knight

Growing up on a horse farm in Northeast Georgia, Chriss Knight spent most of her childhood show jumping, fox hunting and riding on the farm. After graduating high school, Chriss left the farm life to attend Georgia State University and pursue a journalism career, which eventually brought her to the Big Easy. 

As a television news reporter, Chriss lived in cities all around the country before calling New Orleans home. From covering devastating tornadoes in Western Tennessee, reporting live during blizzards in the Midwest, to showcasing the fun and quirky characters and events that make up New Orleans, Chriss’ feature and breaking news coverage earned her awards and honors from the Nebraska Broadcaster’s Association, Nebraska Associated Press and the Press Club of New Orleans. 

Today, Chriss is Host of "The Real Wild Animals of New Orleans", a behind the scenes weekly web series by Audubon Nature Institute (www.realwildanimals.com), and serves as co-host of a day time show on the ABC affiliate that features New Orleans businesses. Chriss is also a publicist and social media manager for various New Orleans businesses.

Chriss is married and has two adorable cats and a hamster.

Image Description

Chriss Knight

Growing up on a horse farm in Northeast Georgia, Chriss Knight spent most of her childhood show jumping, fox hunting and riding on the farm. After graduating high school, Chriss left the farm life to attend Georgia State University and pursue a journalism career, which eventually brought her to the Big Easy. 

As a television news reporter, Chriss lived in cities all around the country before calling New Orleans home. From covering devastating tornadoes in Western Tennessee, reporting live during blizzards in the Midwest, to showcasing the fun and quirky characters and events that make up New Orleans, Chriss’ feature and breaking news coverage earned her awards and honors from the Nebraska Broadcaster’s Association, Nebraska Associated Press and the Press Club of New Orleans. 

Today, Chriss is Host of "The Real Wild Animals of New Orleans", a behind the scenes weekly web series by Audubon Nature Institute (www.realwildanimals.com), and serves as co-host of a day time show on the ABC affiliate that features New Orleans businesses. Chriss is also a publicist and social media manager for various New Orleans businesses.

Chriss is married and has two adorable cats and a hamster.

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