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Kentucky Derby Party Ideas: “Taste of Derby” Official Party

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kentucky derby party centerpiece with red paper roses and toy horses

One of these years I’m determined to make it to Churchill Downs for the Kentucky Derby! It’s quite the trek from San Diego to Louisville though, so in the meantime I will happily continue celebrating the Derby at home with friends & family. :) And along those lines, I’m excited to bring you the brand new Taste of Derby theme that I’ve been busy with lately… which includes tons of creative Kentucky Derby party ideas + FREE party printables and easy Derby-inspired recipes!

My goal for this new Kentucky Derby theme was to create a Vintage-Modern look that felt both classy and casual/fun at the same time – just like the Derby itself. The vibrant red, green, and blue colors utilized here are common racing silks colors and are also reflective of the beautiful 14 Hands wine labels (the official Taste of Derby wine partner).

kentucky derby party benedictine sandwiches

kentucky derby place settings, red paper roses, drink tags, and 14 Hands wine

kentucky derby party food - benedictine sandwiches, rose cupcakes, crudites

I relied on entertaining basics (white plates, white serveware, neutral linens), DIY projects like rolled paper roses, and simple food styling ideas to bring this theme to life, and designed several printable paper details featuring horses, jockeys, and racing silks patterns. (The printables will be featured in a separate post this afternoon since this post is already getting long!)

We hope you’ll be able to use some of these ideas and printables to make your Derby Day celebrations with friends extra festive this year! Read on for more “Taste of Derby” sneak peeks + a link to the full album & party details…

kentucky derby party tablescape and decorations

kentucky derby party mason jar drinks with horse jockey drink flags

kentucky derby party drink coasters

kentucky derby party printables, ribbon wants, burlap chair ties, and red paper roses

kentucky derby party place settings and tablescape with ribbon napkin rings

run for the roses cupcakes - royal icing red roses

kentucky derby party food - derby pies, winner's circle quiche, crudites

14 Hands wine - kentucky derby party

run for the roses cupcakes with royal icing roses

junior mint julep jar favors

mint julep cupcakes

kentucky derby party centerpiece - run for the roses



Click here or the image below to check out the full gallery of this theme. You will also find creative details on the “Party Details” tab that’s directly below the album. The free Kentucky Derby printables from this party are available for download here. Enjoy! :)

kentucky derby party album



– Theme Design & Styling: Hostess with the Mostess
– Party Printables: Jennifer Sbranti
– Photography: Sonny Sbranti
– Wine: 14 Hands
– Derby Recipe Inspiration: Taste of Derby
– Wilton Red Icing Roses: Michaels
– Toy Horses, Chalkboard Paint, Satin Ribbon, Burlap Garland (for chairs): Michaels
– Unbleached Muslin Fabric (table runners & napkins): JoAnn
– 5″ Wood boxes: Jamali Garden

By |2018-02-12T09:41:41-07:00April 18th, 2012|Kentucky Derby, Styled by Jenn, Theme Parties|

About the Author:

Jennifer Sbranti is the founder of Hostess with the Mostess®, a creative living and party planning resource established in 2006. She lives in Northern California with her husband, Sonny, and daughters Macy (8) and Rylie (6). Sbranti’s work has been featured in media outlets such as Good Morning America, The Today Show, Real Simple, People, InStyle Weddings, and Extra! TV. She has designed creative content and unique live events for several well-respected brands, including Mattel, Coca-Cola, The Hershey Company, Toys”R”Us, Pottery Barn Kids, and Starbucks.


  1. Larissa April 18, 2012 at 8:19 pm

    Oh my gosh, Your Derby Ideas are so creative and cute!!! I came across your site a few weeks ago, searching ideas for my daughters’ Dr. Seuss Party we are having in May and was sharing your site with a friend in Chicago tonight , when I came across the Derby Stuff!!! I live 20 mins from Louisville and was born and raised there. If you want me to send you anything Derby Related just let me know!!! Love your IDEAS!!! Thank you for sharing!!!

    • jenn s. April 19, 2012 at 5:51 am

      Thanks, Larissa! That’s so sweet of you! :) Good luck with the Dr. Seuss party – LOVE that theme!

  2. Michelle - I DO invitations by michelle April 19, 2012 at 4:36 am

    LOVE it, Jenn! Your styling + graphic design talent is just incredible! I love the “RUN” setup and the burlap chair sashes! And those mint julep jars…..LOVE.

    • jenn s. April 19, 2012 at 5:52 am

      Thanks, Michelle! Nice to hear from you :) I did have fun putting this together and was so excited to find those tiny jars at Michaels… had to find a way to work them in! ;)

  3. lisa April 19, 2012 at 6:37 am

    The paper roses are fabulous!!!

  4. Sarah / Dreamers Joy Events & Design April 22, 2012 at 9:58 am

    such a unique theme! It makes me want to go to the Kentucky derby. I love the little horses and paper roses. :)

  5. Kara April 30, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    Oh my goodness, what a gorgeous party spread!! I’m thrilled to see that you used my paper rose tutorial! Thanks so much for the link back, I appreciate it.
    Those rose cupcakes are so pretty-love them! :)

  6. The Partiologist April 30, 2012 at 6:21 pm

    I have always wanted to have a Kentucky Derby party and now I REALLY want to have a party! Your ideas and printables are just fantastic!!! Maybe I should start planning for next year! :)

  7. Kit Ehrman February 27, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    Jenn, your Kentucky Derby party ideas, and especially the decorations, are super. Where did you get the 14 Hands wine? Oh, I see you have a link. Thanks. The labels are really cute. An idea for a hostess gift, or door prize, could be TRIPLE CROSS, a mystery that takes place in Louisville and Churchill Downs during the Kentucky Derby.

  8. blovelyevents April 30, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    HTWM you have done it again! Run for the roses themed is amazing! I am loving the colors of blues and greens and the preppy fun vibe of everything! Ijust had to share the horse centerpieces with my followers too! http://blovelyevents.com/2013/04/30/the-horses-have-it/

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