The perfect storm, a trifecta even. This weekend was the alignment of three of my favorite things; the Kentucky Derby, Cinco De Mayo and my birthday. This doesn’t happen all that often, so the best way we know how to celebrate is to throw a party and boy did we ever!
Derby De Mayo 2018 was a success.
If you ever want to try to do this, let me share how we pulled it off. I would highly recommend as it was truly one of the greatest days ever. I am currently suffering from Post-Party Depression. I ate cake for lunch. So I thought maybe I should blog about it to help relive the moments.
First, we turned our shop into a pseudo-event center. We even added an area in front that was paneled off (we called this “The Paddock” to allow for extra seating. We needed to use all the shop space for food, betting and of course TV VIEWING! The entire family spent every evening last week working on this. The little’s were incredibly helpful picking up sticks, putting away toys, cleaning their rooms etc. They were as excited as I was for the big event. By Friday evening we had a paddock, buffet area, table for hats/bow ties, a viewing section, “Watering Hole”, outdoor kids track, jockey clubhouse, outdoor games area and western “rodeo” corner.
Note:This was all fairly inexpensive; we turned the kid’s playhouse into a “jockey clubhouse” just by adding a play table and chairs and painting the chalkboard wall. We used plain stakes and orange tape to make the outdoor track. We already had outdoor Jenga as Pinterest had inspired me a year ago to make it. I had a girls craft night a month ago to make a bunch of derby style hats since Wal-Mart had hats for $3.98, everyone brought over a handful of crafting stuff and we all just went to town making hats and bow-ties, they were so simple! As far as food, we had a potluck style event. Ultimately, the cost to us was a handful of items from the dollar store, bourbon, tequila, mint, ice and small miscellaneous things. Our friends had an extra pig they let us BBQ, for that we are eternally grateful not everyday someone says, here have my pig!
Once the party got started, we let everyone mingle, get on the “board” and get some food before the big race. We started our party 2 hours before the race so that we had a lot of time to build up “hype”! Most of our friends aren’t into horse racing so this was a new adventure for them! Oddly enough, the favorite for all the sportscaster ended up our crowds favorite too, even though I truly did not think he was going to win. I was so very wrong. This happens to me often.
So the main event came around, we all gathered in the shop, and I can’t even begin to explain how loud we were!! It was incredible. Once people put some “skin” in the game, they get really invested in the outcome!
But the best part of the day, came after the greatest 2 minutes in sports. We had told everyone before hand that after the Derby to make their way to our backyard. I asked most of our crowd to join the “infield” of our back yard track and the 1st Annual Kid-Tucky Derby took place! This was the greatest part of our day! We broke it up into tiers, 5 and under, 6-8 and 9-18. There was only one “Rose’ Wreath for each tier (I strung thread through red crepe paper, nothing too fancy, but still exciting for kids) and each age bracket had to go through heats, where the winner from each heat was called back to the championship round (basically their road to the roses if you will J). The infield was amazing, they cheered, hooped and hollered. The kids ran fast, there were some falls and tears, but it was mostly full of laughs and smiles. It was so incredibly popular that I had to go find a bottle of wine (I happened to have Kentucky Derby 14 hands Blend Wine) and we had to add an Adult Open Class. My sides still hurt today from laughing so hard!
After Kid-Tucky, we moved on to the Cinco De Mayo part of the day. We had two pinatas, one for kids (stuffed with 7 lbs of candy) and one for adults (stuffed with mini-booze bottles, lottery tickets and 3 lbs of Candy). You can’t imagine what some grown folks will do for a $1 scratch ticket!!
And just like that, the events were all over. However, kids and adults alike left happy and daydreaming of the next time this party will happen again. The perfect storm doesn’t align again for another 11 years, but I think we may have to make something similar happen on an annual basis.