Four great Kentucky Derby events

Whether you’re headed to Louisville to celebrate this year’s Kentucky Derby or simply want to gather your friends for an excuse to don fancy hats and drink mint juleps, we’ve got a party for you.

Barnstable Brown Party
For more than two decades, the most elite of all Derby events has been the Friday evening Barnstable Brown Party. Co-hosted by twin sisters – and famed Doublemint twins – Patricia (“Tricia”) Barnstable Brown and Priscilla (“Cyb”) Barnstable, their mother, Wilma (“Willie”) Barnstable, and Tricia’s son, Chris Brown. The black-tie gala raises money for programs supporting diabetes research, treatment and education at the sisters’ alma mater, the University of Kentucky. You’ll find numerous celebrities at the party – The Jonas Brothers and Miranda Lambert are among confirmed attendees for this year. Tickets are $1,000+, and available here.

Night of Silk Party
Derby Evening, party with the jockey’s themselves at the first-ever Night of Silk Derby Party at the Galt House Hotel. The first ever Night of Silk will feature signature cocktails, full open bar, a decadent menu and indulgent desserts including dry-ice chocolate and a life-sized chocolate horse. Tickets are $375 per person (buy tickets here) and will benefit the Permanently Disabled Jockey’s Fund.

Los Angeles Soiree
West Coastsers can celebrate the “Greatest 2 Minutes In Sports” with a unique Kentucky Derby Viewing Party called “Hold Your Horses” at the Los Angeles Athletic Club. Taking place in the LAAC’s main game room, the races will be shown on multiple TV, live music will take place from Gypsy Jazz band Icy Hot Club, equine-inspired games such as indoor Horse Shoes there will even be a room where guests can log onto the Kentucky Derby site and place bets on the races. For the Derby guests who hedge their bets more on the fashion of the event than the horses, designer Charlie Altuna will be onsite showcasing some of his original hat creations. There will also be a whisky tasting hosted by Maker’s Mark and a specialty Kentucky-inspired cocktail menu. The party will take place from 1 – 4 PM and is $25 per person, including food. The first 50 reservations will get a complimentary Maker’s Mark glass to take home. To make reservations, call 213-630-5200.

Derby Day in DC
The Willard InterContinental’s historic Round Robin Bar host an “Afternoon at the Races” event on Saturday with its annual Bonnets and Bow Ties Kentucky Derby Party. Join the fun at the Round Robin Bar, a favorite of locals, celebrities, and politicos. The $75 entry fee includes a southern-style buffet featuring country baked ham with baby soft rolls, Kentucky coleslaw and potato salad, a display of international cheeses and Derby pies, including a thematic variation on the pecan pie with a healthy measure of Maker’s Mark and two of the bar’s famous Henry Clay Southern-Style Mint Juleps. Each drink is individually handcrafted and served in the official keepsake 137th Kentucky Derby glassware. To make a reservation, visit the hotel website.

[Flickr via Velo Steve]