Derby Day Parties

Celebrate the 140th running of the roses with mint juleps and hat contests around town

click to enlarge Neons Unplugged
Neons Unplugged

The 140th annual Kentucky Derby "running of the roses" is deemed "the most exciting two minutes in sports" — the Thoroughbreds at Churchill Downs only run 2 km. This year's horse contenders include fantastic names like Dance with Fate, Vicar's in Trouble and Candy Boy, almost as creative as some of the derby hats ladies wear to the festivities. Luckily, you don't have to go to Louisville for fun. Local bars and restaurants are celebrating this Kentucky tradition with viewing parties, bourbon and flowing mint juleps. 

Blinkers Tavern — A viewing party with mint juleps and bourbon slush. Wear derby attire. 4 p.m. 318 Greenup St., Covington, Ky.,

College Hill Communitiy Urban Redevelopment Corporation Derby Party — The CHCURC's fourth annual Derby Day party and fundraiser will be held at historic Laurel Court, a gilded age beaux-arts estate in College Hill. Modeled after the Petit Trianon in Versailles, Laurel Court sits on 7.5 acres of land, with a French garden, a Japanese garden, statues and more. Admission includes a mint julep reception with live entertainment, open wine and beer bar, catered Derby food, a viewing and a party to follow. The party inside the historic mansion includes a silent auction, live music, raffles, hat contests and a cash bar. Attire is dressy casual. 5 p.m. $75; $85 at the door. Laurel Court, 5870 Belmont Ave., College Hill,

The Famous Neons Unplugged — Sponsored by Kentucky's Old Forester. Molly Wellmann will be serving up her own mint juleps in an official, 140th annual Kentucky Derby commemorative glass. (Get the mint julep and the glass for $10; $7 refills all day.) Taste 513 will be serving classic country food while Buffalo Wabs and the Price Hill Hustle play. Day includes a Fancy Derby Hat Contest and Dapper Dude Contest, judged by Julie Nieson (Wine Me, Dine Me), Kenneth Wright (Events at Cincinnati CityBeat) and Ilene Ross, (513{Eats}/CityBeat). Watch the official race at 6:30. 2-7 p.m. Free. The Famous Neons Unplugged, 208 E. 12th St., Downtown,

Kolping Society Derby Day Party — Family-friendly event sponsored by the Kolping Society of Cincinnati. Catch the 140th running of the Kentucky Derby on the big screen in the pavilion and wagers on Kolping's own "night at the races" broadcasts. Blue Caboose Band will provide the sounds and Wiedemann Brewing will be introducing a special lager and seasonal brew. Food includes an $8 Kentucky-style chicken buffet, beginning at 7 p.m. Free snacks provided at tables. Free hot dogs and soda for kids 12 and younger. 5 p.m. $5; $10 family. Kolping Center Outdoor Pavilion and Biergarten, 10235 Mill Road, Mt. Healthy,

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