Events: Put Your Derby Party Pants On

It’s Monday and the last thing you’re probably thinking about are parties (or maybe it’s exactly what you’re thinking about in an escapist kind of way). Let’s be honest, there are a bajillion (gross exaggeration) Derby parties. Some are too fancy for me, some a little too wild but that’s why there are so many – like ice cream flavors, there’s a Derby party for everyone.

So since I have a little writer’s block today and since Derby parties are all I seem to be talking about at work these days, here’s a quick list of the notables.

Don’t see your event below, email me ([email protected]) or add it in the comments and I’ll update the post accordingly.

p.s. Don’t forget to enter the Keeneland Shop Derby Hat Giveaway! You have until Wednesday to enter.

John Wall Is Fancy. (April 29, 2010 - Photo by Jeff Gentner/Getty Images North America)

Fancy Pants:
“Oh you fancy huh?”If you’ve got a little extra change in your pocket and want to hob nob (yes, I just wrote that) with celebs then these parties have your name written all over them.

  • Barnstable Brown: C’mon I can’t do a post about Derby parties and not mention this one. The most famous of all Derby events, this year’s guests include Ashton Kutcher, Erin Andrews and my personal favorite on the guest list The U’s Vince Wilfork (you may know him better as that giant dude that plays for the Patriots).
    When: Friday May 4th
    $1,250 per person (but you gotta figure out how to get them, I’m guessing when you’re paying that much for a party – you know who to call).
  • The Julep: This gala is a relative of the now-defunct Mint Jubilee (I think, don’t quote me on that). Either way, it is fancy, benefits the James Graham Brown Cancer Center and has a ton of “celebs” coming. By celebs, I mean Karofsky (you know, the bully turned buddy of Kurt), your 12-year old crush Zachary Ty Bryant from ‘Home Improvement’ (some of you all may have been more apt to crush on JTT but I was admittedly a Zachary Ty fan back in the day) and a ton of Bravo TV stars. No judging there – I’m addicted to Bravo TV and would definitely get my pic taken with Cynthia Bailey (RHOA), Jeff Lewis (Flipping Out) and Kelly Cutrone (Kell on Earth – actually I might be too scared to ask her). Okay enough of my blabbering…
    When: Friday May 4th
    $500 per person. Email [email protected] for tickets.

Looking for a Good Time:

  • The Maxim Party: Looking to see celebrities. This party is your best bet. Maxim throws some of the best parties at event like Super Bowl, the NBA Championship and other events where large contingents of celebrities travel to places like Indiana, Orlando and now… Louisville. Held at the Mellwood Arts & Entertainment Center, this one is invite only (you’re probably like, why in the hell is it on this list then. I just thought you’d want to be in the know. If you don’t know, you can’t go around looking for tickets).
    When: Friday May 4
    Tickets: Invite Only
  • The Derby Hot 100: Flame Run, a glass-blowing studio in Nu-Lu, is hosting this event which promises to have NBA, NFL and Hollywood celebrities. I wouldn’t hold your breath on hanging out with one of these celebs but you may see them brush past you on the way to the VIP.
    Either way, this party has all the makings of a wild night out.
    When: Friday May 4 from 11 pm to 6 am
    Tickets: $100 to enter; $1,500 for a table for 8 and VIP passes.
  • Battle of the Bluegrass Celebrity Pool Tournament:(Full disclosure, I’m working with the J Wagner Group on this party but I wouldn’t include it if I didn’t think some of you all might be interested in the details.)
    If you live in Louisville (or Kentucky for that matter), the chances that you’re a Cards or Cats fan is pretty high. This event is hosted by Darius Miller, UK’s National Champion Senior Star and current NFL players and UofL standouts, Amobi Okoye & Michael Bush. It’s a pool tournament being held at the Icehouse downtown where you’ll get the chance to see some of your favorite players trying their hands at pool, all while supporting Big Brothers Big Sisters and Kickoff 4 Kids (Okoye’s Foundation).
    When: Thursday May 3
    Tickets: $50 per person or $250 to enter the pool tournament. Tickets available online

Fetes for Foodies: If you’re less interested in the dancing and more focused on the dinner, these events are for you.

  • Taste of Derby: First off, this event is held at an aviation hanger at Bowman Field which automatically makes it interesting and fun to me (don’t know why but I’m a sucker for events held in non-traditional locations). Second, it involves food. Lots of food. The event celebrates cuisine from racetracks around the country with chefs from each local whipping up their signature dish. Since it takes place on Thursday, it has a much more local feel so don’t expect a ton of celebrities.
    When: Thursday May 3
    Tickets: $325 per person. Call 866.834.8663 to purchase.
  • Marriott Oaks Bourbon Brunch: (Another disclosure, the Marriott is one of my clients but they did not pay me to post this here and again, I wouldn’t add it to the list if I didn’t think you’d be interested). This event is my kind of party mostly because it involves breakfast and morning cocktails. Nothing like the ole 8 am cocktail party. But you can’t drink all day if you don’t start in the morning. But seriously, this Oaks morning event features a bourbon style breakfast with a cooking demonstration from Guy Fieri (don’t act like you don’t watch Minute to Win It) with all the proceeds going to the Kosair Children’s Hospital Foundation. Best part is you’ll be out in time for the races (with a full belly and a couple cocktails under your belt).
    When: Friday May 4 from 8:30 to 10:30 am
    Tickets: $150 per person. For ticket information, call 502.629.KIDS or visit