Double Up Denver: Where to Enjoy the Kentucky Derby and Cinco de Mayo

Ole y'all

On Saturday, May 5, two great American events will collide, the 144th Kentucky Derby and Cinco de Mayo. Add to that some (hopefully) wonderful Denver spring weather and you’ve got the ingredients for an outdoor garden party. Below are places hosting Denver’s best Derby and Cinco parties.

Cinco de Mayo Denver
The Cinco de Mayo Cultural Festival happens at Civic Center Park May 5-6 from 10 AM-8 PM. Guests can enjoy live entertainment, games, food and a parade. This event is family-friendly and celebrates Denver’s Latino culture. Enjoy outdoor beer gardens and lots of sun and fun on this first weekend in May. Admission is free and food and drink are pay as you go. (Civic Center Park)

Denver Derby Party
One of the largest watch parties outside the state of Kentucky, Denver Derby Party is spring’s biggest garden party taking over four city blocks. Not only is it a huge party, but 100% of all ticket proceeds benefit the Sean Ranch Lough Foundation, which provides college scholarships to underprivileged students. Infield and Galleria tickets are $130 per person and include entry, cocktails, food from over 18 restaurants and caterers, indoor/outdoor access to tents and the main stage, and infield Jumbotrons to watch all the action. Jockey Club tickets are $280 per person and have added features including express entrance, VIP catering and upgraded food, Jockey Club lounges with own washrooms, and extra TVs for viewing. Purchase tickets from the website and entry starts at 1 PM. (1345 Champa St., Sculpture Park at the Denver Performing Arts Complex)

Cinco de Derby at Julep
This new place in RiNo is hosting two parties on the same day. Cinco de Derby will celebrate both Cinco de Mayo and the Kentucky Derby with all kinds of fun. The party includes three signature drinks, a whole pig roast with seasonal sides, Cinco- and Derby-themed passed bites and a contest for the best dressed couple. The winner will receive a $100 gift card to dine at Julep. Tickets are $55 per person and the party is from 12-5 PM. (3258 Larimer St.; 303-295-8977)

Derby Day at Union Station
A unique party should be in a unique location. That’s why Derby Day at Union Station is such a festival. Come dressed in your most dapper Derby attire and join the fun in the Great Hall. Guests will enjoy Mint Julep specials, live music, and the race will stream live on TVs around the station. There will also be Best Dressed contests for men, women and couples. Sponsored by Bulleit Whiskey and Ketel One Vodka, this event is free to enter. The Cooper Lounge inside the station will also offer a more private party featuring complimentary cocktails and light hors d-oeuvres for $100 per person. Call 720-460-3738 for tickets to The Cooper Lounge. The PAYG party in the Great Hall starts at noon. (1701 Wynkoop St.)

Derby Day Brunch and Pool Party at EDGE
Enjoy a brunch and a pool party at EDGE at Four Season Hotel Denver. Enjoy an exclusive brunch and viewing party on the hotel’s third floor, rooftop and pool terrace hosted by special guests Rod Smith, former Denver Bronco, Raz Gnat of Gnat Jewlers and Kam Loony of US Bank. The special brunch will be served from 11 AM to 2 PM for $84 per person all inclusive. After brunch, catch the fun on the pool terrace until 7 PM with a live DJ and drink specials. Tickets for the pool terrace are $80 per person. All tickets can be purchased online here. (1111 14th St.; 303-389-3000)

Derby de Mayo at Stoney’s Bar and Grill
Stoney’s has put together two special events into one. Derby de Mayo will feature Stoney’s famous crawfish boil with drink specials, live music and lots of fun. The event is free to enter, food and drink are pay as you go, however, guests can purchase 2 lbs. of crawfish for $28.45 and 5 lbs. for $54.85 in advance on Facebook. Each purchase of crawfish comes with a free Corona. (1111 Lincoln St.; 303-830-6839)

Denver Mini Derby at The Stanley Marketplace
Enjoy a different kind of Derby party at The Stanley Marketplace in Aurora on May 5. At this party the fun begins after the horse race. The event includes its own “mini race” with adorable mini horses trotting around the grounds. There is also tons of food, a live band, open bar, a Corgi dog race and TV screens to view the Derby. There will also be a “Best Derby Hat” contest.  Infield tickets are $99 and get you in the door. VIP tickets are $159 per person and include open VIP-only bar with BBQ from Rolling Smoke. Purchase tickets online and the fun starts at 1 PM. Designated Driver tickets (no alcohol) are available for $79 per person. The event helps to support several local charity organizations. (2501 Dallas St.)

Derby Party 4 at School House Kitchen and Libations
The 4th annual Derby Party at Arvada’s School House is back. Join the fun at this Olde Town whiskey and beer bar for food and drink specials and live music. There is also a best dressed contest. Need a hat? Come down on Wednesday, May 2, for a Hat Decorating Party. (5660 Olde Wadsworth Blvd.; 720-639-4213)

Kentucky Derby Party at The Bar Car
One of Denver’s longest running Derby events, the 8th annual Kentucky Derby Party at The Bar Car is a fun and frolicking afternoon with lots of pomp and circumstance. Enjoy live music from two bands, That Damn Sasquatch and 80s Preservation Society. Enjoy booze from Buffalo Trace, Dry Dock Brewing, and PBR and the bar’s famous Mint Juleps. Wear your best headgear for the Derby Hat Contest. This party will also benefit the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Tickets are $15 per person and can be purchased in advance at the bar. Party starts at noon. (819 Colorado Blvd.; 720-524-8099)

Photo via Flickr user SGPhotography77


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