How to Celebrate Kentucky Derby Day in Philadelphia


Kentucky Derby Day is not just about the horse race. It is a day for the ladies to don their best hats and look fabulous. The adults sip mint juleps while the kids frolic in fields. In Philadelphia, a variety of venues are hosting parties that will last much longer than the two-minute derby.

Paramour at the Wayne Hotel
It is the 5th annual Kentucky Derby Celebration at the upscale restaurant Paramour. Along with that great hat be sure to where full derby attire as there is a fashion contest for both the guys and gals with wonderful prizes. Mint juleps, select wines and southern style foods will be served. The derby race will be live on TV screens on the veranda and in the lobby lounge. The event runs from 4 – 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 7th.

Twisted Tail & Woodford Reserve host Kentucky Derby Party
This Derby party takes place as part of the South Street Spring Festival so there will be plenty of partying going on. The Twisted Tail's Derby party begins at 2:00 p.m. on May 7th. This event features specialty mint juleps by Woodford Reserve along with flights of bourbon. In addition the ladies' hats, the men are encouraged to sport their bowties. There will be prizes for the best hat and a winning horse raffle.

PHILADERBY at the Piazza at Schmidts
This is a ticketed event in an outdoor setting with the Derby on the big screen. Thousands will be in attendance, of course in derby attire. The basic ticket includes an open bar with a 'derby drink list' while the VIP ticket includes the mint juleps. Attendees are invited to participate in competitions and games along with plenty of dancing to live music. This event is 21 and over and runs from 2:00 – 7:00 p.m. For more information about tickets and the event, click here.

Parx Racing
While there is plenty of celebrating going on, there is also a fair amount of betting on a horse race. Parx Race track will be open for business on Friday, May 6th to accept advance wagers. The party on Derby Day gets started at 10:00 a.m. There will be a kid-friendly venue featuring a moon bounce, BBQ and other family-oriented events. For the race goers, there will be the 'Belle of Parx Racing' hat contest, special tips on picking your favored horse and special reservations for VIP attendees. The full listing for the two-day event can be found here.

Red Owl Tavern
On what is arguably Philadelphia's most historic intersection at 5th and Chestnut streets, Red Owl Tavern's Lead Bartender and team have concocted what may be the world's most refreshing julep for this year's Kentucky Derby. Red Owl's Cucumber Ginger Julep is a bright, icy and delicious mix of Woodford Reserve Kentucky Bourbon, fresh cucumber and ginger and served with classic crushed ice. $10. There will also be a variety of Derby Day themed food as well.

Stasia DeMarco is a native Philadelphian. She has been a freelance journalist and content strategist for 20+ years.‚Äč

More from This Author:
Top New Restaurants to try in 2016 in Philadelphia

Take a Luxury Weekend Getaway at Philadelphia's Rittenhouse Square Park


Must-see landmarks: Boathouse Row