Where to Drink While Watching the Kentucky Derby

The Triple Crown Begins
Where to Drink While Watching the Kentucky Derby

Ladies and gentlemen, put on your fanciest spring attire because the 143rd Kentucky Derby will be held Saturday, May 6. If you can’t be in Kentucky, Denver is a good place to be because the city hosts some of the largest Derby parties west of the Mississippi. Whether you enjoy the action or just like a good party, there is an event for you.

The Bar Car
The Bar Car in Congress Park will host its 7th annual Kentucky Derby Party beginning at noon. Talk Derby to Me happens from noon to 7 PM with drink specials, music and the showing of the race on a projection screen TV. Tickets are $10 per person in advance or $12 cash at the door. Then stay for a live performance of Denver’s most popular swing band and 20th reunion show of Money Plays 8. Tickets can be purchased on the website. Concert is from after the race until 7 PM. (819 Colorado Blvd.; 720-524-8099)

Denver Derby Party
Organizers boast this is the largest Derby Party outside of Kentucky. Denver’s all-inclusive outdoor derby party begins at 1 PM in the grassy confines of Sculpture Park Garden on the grounds of the Denver Performing Arts Complex. Everything is included, food, beverages, live music, 40+ TVs and a JumboTron showing the action. Tickets are $130 for Infield & Galleria and include everything just mentioned. Jockey Club tickets are $300 and include VIP treatment with express no-wait entry, special Derby Cocktails and spirits, VIP catering with upgraded food options, lounge seating and VIP washrooms. While you enjoy the derby, this is a fund raising event for a good cause benefitting The CSU Sean “Ranch” Lough Memorial Scholarship Endowment for students. If you go, dress to impress in your Derby finest and don’t forget a spring hat. This event sells out every year so get your tickets online now. (Denver Performing Arts Complex, Entrance is at 15th & Curtis)

Denver Mini-Derby at Stanley Marketplace
Run the roses in miniature at this Derby party with a twist. Enjoy a watch party with TVs, a live band and DJ, tons of food and Mint Juleps. There is even a Best Hat Contest. Then after the race enjoy a mini-derby featuring adorable mini horses trotting around in a charity race. Tickets are $69 per person for General Admission, which features only two drinks, other food and drink purchased separately.  VIP tickets are $139 per person and include Rolling Smoke BBQ, Banana Bread Pudding and unlimited Mint Juleps. The party is from 1-6 PM and will be held in The Hanger, the Marketplace’s private event space. (2501 Dallas St.; 720-588-9158)

Derby Day at EDGE 
Enjoy a Triple Crown Experience on Derby Day. Beginning at 11 AM enjoy brunch on the Pool Terrace and a Derby Race Party on the ballroom floor. Then stay for the Post-race party at EDGE Bar. Cost is $70 for the brunch and includes bottomless Mimosas. Cost is $20 per person for the race party and includes access to the after-party. Call 303-389-3146. The hotel also has discounted rates to those who want to stay. See the restaurant’s Facebook page for details. (1111 14th St.; 303-389-3343)

Kentucky Derby Party at the Governor’s Residence
For a unique place to view the Kentucky Derby join the finery at the Gov’s Mansion for this 21 and over Derby party. Guests are invited to watch the derby while enjoying Southern fare and mint juleps from Sidecar 33 and Woody Creek Distillers and music from Woodshed Red. Tickets are $75 per person and the event will benefit The Governor’s Residence Preservation Fund. The party starts at 2:30 PM and tickets can be purchased online. (400 E. 8th Ave.)

Jockeys, Juleps & Jazz
MyLifeLine Cancer Foundation is hosting the Jockey’s, Juleps and Jazz benefit at the Four Seasons Hotel downtown beginning at 2 PM on Derby Day. Enjoy southern cuisine, music, photo booth, live and silent auctions and a simulcast of the Kentucky Derby all while supporting a good cause. Reggie Rivers, former Denver Bronco player, is the event auctioneer. Tickets are $125 per person and tables for groups and sponsorships are still available. (1111 14th St.)

The Lobby
Join the Denver Does Derby party at The Lobby on Saturday. This is a Derby party with a Denver twist. Be sure to don your finest Derby meets Denver duds because there will be prizes for Best Dressed Man, Woman and Couple. Enjoy lawn games in the courtyard and Goldfish Races. Food and drink specials include $2 off specialty cocktails and $4 Great Divide drafts and Mint Juleps. The party is from 9 AM until 5 PM and kid friendly. (2191 Arapahoe St.; 303-997-9911)

The Big Wonderful
The Big Wonderful, Denver’s urban cultural festival, has moved, both in location and date. This outdoor beerfest, food truck gathering, farmers market, arts and craft bazaar, and live music event will be held over the Derby weekend this year, May 5-7. The new location is in Sunnyside at 4400 Fox Street near the I-25/I-70 interchange. This is year the music is the main focus with headliners Jeff Austin & Friends and Drew Emmitt Band along with many, many others throughout the weekend. Also new this year is BeerFest on Saturday, May 6. This special section will feature 20 stations with a mix of breweries, distilleries and cideries. Beerfest tickets are sold separately and include three hours of unlimited sampling in a commemorative glass, a Kentucky Derby Party, live music from 3-6 PM, access to all main stage music and to the All Day & Night Bazaar. Beerfest tickets are $49 per person.  Day and weekend passes each are sold separately and everything is available on the event’s website. (4400 Fox St.)

Paramount Café
Party on the mall for Derby Day. Wear your best Derby outfit and be at the café by noon on Saturday for a chance to win a Happy Hour Party. Then stay for the race. Enjoy specials on Mint Juleps and watch the race. (519 16th St.; 303-893-2000)

ViewHouse Ballpark
Bust out the BIG hats because the Derby Viewing Party is on. Enjoy Woodford Reserve Mint Juleps and Stella Artois specials all day along with photo booth and photographers and live music from Moses Jones Band starting at 1 PM. The race will be broadcast on the 200-inch outdoor LED TV beginning at 4 PM. Derby attire and hats highly suggested. Call 720-282-1588 for cabana reservations. (2015 Market St.; 720-878-2015)

ViewHouse Centennial
Bust out the BIG hats for the big viewing party and get in on a drawing to win a trip to the 2018 Kentucky Derby. Enjoy an a la carte brunch from 10 AM to 2 PM, $4 classic or Blood Orange Mimosas and Mint Julep and Stella Artois specials. The derby will be broadcast live on the 200-inch indoor LED TV. Derby attire and hats highly suggested. Call 303-260-7001 for table and cabana reservations. (7101 S. Clinton St.; 303-790-8439)

Photo via Flickr user Bill Brine


Tags: Fundraiser, Outdoor Seating, Parties
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