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(BPT) - If you’re a fan of everything Kentucky Derby, or you just love any excuse to throw a fun, unique party, get ready for this year’s “run for the roses” in style. The Kentucky Derby is not just the premier horse race in the country, but an opportunity to show off your fanciest spring fashions, enjoy a mint julep and cheer on your favorites.
With these tips — and help from a few Instagram influencers — you can throw a spectacular Kentucky Derby party right at home.
1. Create a legendary menu
Derby Day is the ideal opportunity to learn some Southern classics to serve your guests, so look for recipe ideas on the Kentucky Derby website.
Atlanta-based pastor and father of three boys Marcus Tankard (@marcustankard) recommends, “No matter what happens (and something is bound to come up even with the best parties), feed your guests the finest foods — like my favorite Ferrero Golden Gallery Signature chocolates — to fuel interesting conversations (everyone hates small talk) and focus on the fun. Have fun and BE FUN, and the guests will follow suit.”
Beyond their unforgettable taste, the gold accents on the boxes of Golden Gallery Signature chocolates provide a memorable visual that fits right in with the official colors of the 2022 Kentucky Derby: red and gold. Use them to decorate your tables for a luxurious and festive atmosphere. Golden Gallery Signature chocolates are available in 12- or 24-count varieties, and each individual chocolate is a work of art presented in an elegant golden tray within a luxurious gift box.
2. Make a visual statement across the board
Use the Derby's red and gold color palette to plan all your party decorations and tablescape, which should also include visual motifs such as horses, horseshoes and roses. Your invitations should encourage dressing up to fit the Derby theme, with colorful floral outfits — and of course, over-the-top hats.
3. Prep your starting gate
To welcome your guests as they first arrive, make sure to have refreshing cocktails (or mocktails) at the ready, like the traditional drink of the Kentucky Derby: the mint julep.
“I always love to have a welcome drink when my guests arrive!” advises Anna Page (@annawpage), a New York City influencer who focuses on lifestyle, fashion and home decor. “It can be as complex as a custom cocktail or as simple as a lemonade mocktail, but it always ensures that your guests feel right at home when they walk in!” Anna looks forward to joining Golden Gallery Signature in Louisville for Derby weekend.
An obvious choice for your welcome drink is the iconic mint julep, the traditional drink of the Kentucky Derby.
You can further set the mood by creating a music playlist with Southern and country favorites, as well as horse-themed songs.
4. Create your own horse race
Give everyone a piece of the action by making “betting slips” so guests can predict the winners, and make sure to award prizes not only for win, place and show, but also consolation for the most spectacular losing bet.
You could also conduct a Kentucky Derby trivia game and present the winner with a garland of roses in the "winner's circle."
5. And down the stretch they come
When it’s time to say goodbye, make the finish line memorable by giving guests something to take home. Louisville-based influencer and mom of three Katie Rankin (@katie.rank) is sharing her excitement about attending the Derby with her followers this year, as well as her ideas for celebrating the day.
“My tip for hosting a Kentucky Derby party would be to always have an extra box of Golden Gallery Signature chocolates by the door with small bags so guests can take home some of their favorites at the end of the party!” says Rankin.
After your successful party, you may want to go for the Triple Crown, so plan ahead.
If you're lucky enough to attend the 148th Kentucky Derby in person, stop by the Golden Gallery Signature tasting booth by the Finish Lines Suites. For more information on Golden Gallery Signature, visit FerreroRocher.com or follow Ferrero Rocher USA on Instagram.