The five best Kentucky Derby parties in Denver

Categories: Events

Britt Chester
You've picked your horse, you've dusted off your largest hat, and you're ready for your annual guzzling of mint juleps -- but if Churchill Downs isn't in your weekend travel plans, where shall you go? Westword has compiled a list of the best derby-themed parties taking place in parking lots, five-star hotels and galleries across town that are sure to put a little giddy-up in your step this weekend.

See also:
- Down and derby! The best-dressed Kentucky Derby fans we saw on Saturday
- Downtown Derby Debauchery
- 138th Kentucky Derby at Chloe and the Lobby

Artists on Santa Fe's "Win, Place or SHOW"
Where: 747 Santa Fe Drive
When: May 1-June 3
Cost: Free
Proving that the derby is far longer than just the "greatest two minutes in sports," Artists on Santa Fe is presenting a month-long Kentucky Derby "Win, Place or SHOW" exhibit. With a focus on art that pays homage to the Kentucky Derby, the event will feature two floors of art created in a variety of media including ceramics, painting, photography, sculpture and jewelry.

Bar Car's Third Annual Kentucky Derby party
Where: 819 Colorado Boulevard
When: May 4, 2- 6 p.m.
Cost: $5
If you've lost too much money on the ponies lately, the $5 cover at The Bar Car might make this the event for you. In the parking lot next to the bar, this derby-themed party will feature two bands, a projection screen TV, a pizza-eating contest and a hat competition. There will also be carnival games and a photo booth to raise money for Team-in-Training, the fundraising arm of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. The main bar will be open at 1 p.m. for a pre-party drink.


Central Bistro and Bar's "High Hat" party
Where: 1691 Central St.
When: May 4th, 12 p.m. - 5 p.m.
Cost: $6 mint juleps
If your hat is particularly high, try Central Bistro and Bar's "High Hat" party. The five-hour event will feature food and drink specials on dishes including mint juleps and Kentucky hot brown sandwiches. Wear your best "high hat" to be entered for a chance to win dinner for two.

Industry Denver's "The Three Greatest Courses in Horses and Kentucky Derby Spectator Social"
Where: 3090 Downing Street
When: May 4, 1 p.m.
Cost: $45-70
If fueling up on food is more important to you than downing juleps, Industry Denver's "The Three Greatest Courses in Horses & Kentucky Derby Spectator Social" might be the party for you. During this partnership with the Colorado Share Our Strength's No Kid Hungry campaign, the three-course meal begins well before the race starts. Guests will be treated to a Kentucky-style supper and paired cocktails designed and prepared by Matt Selby of Corner House, Jensen Cummings from Slotted Spoon, Courtney Wilson of Old Major and other top-notch local chefs and mixologists. Following the "Greatest Three Courses," the "Spectator Social" will kick off at 2 p.m. with a complimentary cocktail. Tickets are available for purchase at Corner House, Gaetano's, TAG or online at Industry Denver's website.

The Wildlife Experience Museum's "Art of the Race"
Where: 10035 Peoria Street in Parker
When: May 4th, 2:30-5 p.m.
Cost: $20-25
If the standard sportsbar TV will not do, trot over to The Wildlife Experience Museum's "Art of the Race" party, which will will broadcast the race on a 53-foot large-format theater screen. Partygoers will enjoy complimentary cocktails, a live performance by the Railsplitters, southern-themed hors d'oeuvres and hat and best-dressed contests. Visit the Wildlife Experience's website to purchase tickets.

Location Info

The Bar Car

819 Colorado Blvd., Denver, CO

Category: Music

Central Bistro & Bar

1691 Central St., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

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Nick Wilson
Nick Wilson

DERBY PARTY 2013 - Denver's Original Derby Party

Kai Ravariere
Kai Ravariere

...or maybe the actual Denver Derby party? You know, the one that's the largest derby party in the nation outside of Churchill Downs? The one for charity? Seriously?? Come on, Westword.


I am definitely headed to The Wildlife Experience.  They always have the best food and you cant beat $25 for food and drinks!

Carter Spencer
Carter Spencer

Denver Derby is the best. REALLY Westword you use their photo and don't even give them credit? Who doesn't like drinking for charity.

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