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The Kentucky Derby Comes to Mapleton Hill in Boulder, CO

One of my favorite Boulder traditions is the annual Derby Days Kentucky Derby Party, presented by Boulder Lifestyle Magazine and Audi Boulder. The fourth annual celebration is Saturday, May 7 in the historic Mapleton Hill neighborhood, and even if you don’t know Triple Crown from Triple Sec, there will still be plenty to enjoy, including live music, yard games, and delicious food and drink provided by some of our favorite spots in Boulder. Grab your floppy hat and seersucker print—you don’t want to miss this!

Nicknamed “the most exciting two minutes in sports,” the Kentucky Derby is actually the longest continually run sporting event in the United States. It is held on the first Saturday in May in Louisville, Kentucky, but celebrated around the nation as a beckon of spring and opportunity to express your inner Southern belle or gentleman. Now in its 142nd year, the Derby is as recognized for its horses as much as it is for its traditional garb. Women typically wear pastel-colored spring attire that coordinates with a wide-brimmed hat (believed to bear good luck!) and bold accessories. You’ll find the Derby man in brightly colored bold stripes, busy plaid, or bright pastels—so long as it matches the bow tie.

Aside from the horses, Derby Day festivities also revolve around food. The West End Tavern, OAK at Fourteenth, and Sanitas Brewing Company will be serving up Southern classics for you to enjoy, and we’d be remiss to not include Mint Juleps (a refreshing concoction of bourbon, simple syrup, fresh mint, and crushed ice), plus beer, wine, and champagne. Save room for a delicious lunch inspired by Kentucky favorites.

A day of reveling just isn’t complete without the right music, and Colorado-based group The Drunken Hearts will perform their unique blend of bluegrass, Americana, and country—perfect for an afternoon outside with a cold one.

If one day just isn’t enough time to celebrate all that the Kentucky Derby has to offer, there are also some exciting new twists leading up to the event this year, including a VIP pre-party on Wednesday, May 4 at a downtown Boulder penthouse, and a golf tournament on Friday, May 6 at Lake Valley Golf Club.

kentucky derby

Photo courtesy of Boulder Lifestyle Magazine

With more than 350 attendees at last year’s Kentucky Derby Party, this is Boulder’s quintessential celebration of spring and THE social event of the year. And did we mention that Cinco de Mayo, Mother’s Day, AND the Kentucky Derby are all within several days of each other? That’s more than enough reason to celebrate.

Early-bird general admission tickets cost $65 and include entrance to the main event (12:30-5:00 pm) and after-party.

VIP ticket holders gain access to the exclusive Pre-Party catered by JAX Fish House, early and expedited check-in on Derby Day, complimentary food and drinks, a reserved lounge area with private bar and race viewing, after-party invite, and a complimentary premium cigar (rolled on-site).

Tickets are still available but are going fast (last year’s event sold out!), so grab yours up today. See you there!

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