May 2nd is a big day for horse-racing and giant-hat enthusiasts alike, when they flock to Churchill Downs in Louisville to watch the 141st Kentucky Derby and experience all that the storied sporting event has to offer. Can’t make the trip down south? You can catch all of what’s been described as “the most exciting two minutes in sports” without leaving Minnesota—just don’t forget your mint julep.
Leave it to Minnesota’s horse-racing headquarters to go all out for the sport’s most decadent day. Premium packages include seating in Canterbury’s Triple Crown Rooms, an open bar all afternoon, buffets, a champagne Derby toast, better machine access, and souvenir drink glasses. For reservations and more information, visit Canterbury Park.
Kentucky Derby Day at Brit’s Pub
The Kentucky Derby was originally inspired by an English racing event, so get back to the root of it all by heading over to Brit’s at 1 p.m. for their Derby Day celebrations. They’ll be serving up food and drink specials, including the signature Mint Julep, and have a cigar roller and a bluegrass band on hand to add to the festivities. For more details, visit Brit’s Pub.
Kentucky Derby Party at the Woman’s Club of Minneapolis
Due to popular demand, the Minneapolis Club’s third-annual Kentucky Derby party is moving into the historic Woman’s Club in Loring Park. Guests can look forward to complimentary appetizers, drinks specials, music by the Gatsby Gang, and a post-Derby dance party. All ticket proceeds go to Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare and Feed My Starving Children. For tickets and more information, visit the event page.
Kentucky Derbatante Party at Betty Danger’s Country Club
What better place to celebrate the Kentucky Derby than a self-proclaimed “country club on crack?” Betty Danger’s Derbatante party includes a free mint julep, outdoor mint-julep bar, vintage photo booth, inflatable horse races, a derby ball, violinists playing traditional Kentucky tunes, and live ponies for the perfect post-race photo op. For tickets and information, visit the Betty Danger’s Facebook page.
Big Hats & Big Hearts Kentucky Derby Party at Paradise Center for the Arts
If you want your Kentucky Derby action with a side of philanthropy, make the trek to Fairbault for the sixth-annual Big Hats & Big Hearts Auction for the Arts and Kentucky Derby Party. The event will feature food, live and silent auctions, and screens to watch all the race action. All proceeds of the event go to funding arts and education programming at the Paradise Center. For tickets and more information, visit the Faribault Area Chamber of Commerce.
Women’s Big Hat-titude & Wine Affair
Ladies, make your Derby celebrations a weekend-long affair with Women United Minnesota’s Women’s Big Hat-titude & Wine Affair on May 3rd at Seven Skybar in Minneapolis. Put on your springiest dress and biggest hat and enjoy music, appetizers, and wine tastings. For tickets, visit Women United Minnesota.