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And They're Off...

Horse racing evokes excitement in general, but the Kentucky Derby is by far the most well known horse race in America. Known as "The Greatest Two Minutes in Sports", it is also called "The Run for the Roses" after the blanket of roses draped over the lucky winner. Held annually in Louisville, Kentucky, the race usually falls on the first weekend of May, so now is the time to get your party plans off to a great start.

If you can't make it to Kentucky this year, why not host your own derby party! Whether you go glam with a Hats, Horses and Heels theme, or casual with an Infamous Infield theme, your guests are sure to have a giddy-up good time!

First things first, what will you wear? Southern Proper has the perfect bows for your beau, or try Beau Ties Ltd for adorable derby patterns. For the ultimate derby fan, shop the Kentucky Derby Store for ties with the derby rose logo, they go great with a springy seersucker suit - so classic!

For the ladies, you must have the perfect hat. I love any excuse to wear a hat, and the derby is probably the most recognized occasion for sporting a fancy party hat! If you're a Lilly kind of girl, she has a straw derby hat just for you. Wear it with your new Lilly dress in the derby inspired Giddy Up pattern. If you have a little Lilly, get a coordinated dress in girls sizes 2-14. Pair your ensemble with a pair of Prada Postcards Sunglasses and you're sure to be the most fashionable filly around!

So, what's next... ? What to serve! The traditional sandwich of the derby is the ooey gooey Kentucky hot brown. In case you're not familiar with it, the hot brown is a creamy, rich, hot sandwich that's made of sliced turkey, bacon, toast, and a cheesy sauce. YUM!

Speaking of yum, the yumsugar.com blog offers two great recipes for the hot brown. One is a beginner recipe from Rachel Ray and the other is a more daunting recipe from Bobby Flay. Both look pretty delicious to me!!

For dessert, how about a cute cookie duo of derby hats and race horses? For fun you could put the actual race horse numbers on the cookies and see who picks the winner. You may also want to give your guests a wager card to place bets on their favorites when they arrive. I like these from plumparty.com, they'll have your guests betting like the pros!

Don't forget libations. You'll want to whip up some mint juleps for your party goers and maybe some fresh lemonade for the little ones. If you don't have enough julep cups, use these cute plastic ones. I love to find things that are cheap yet chic, don't you?

Try a twist on the traditional with Mint Julep cupcakes. That way everyone can enjoy the famous flavor of the derby. Another great cupcake idea - Derby Pie inspired cupcakes. A spin-off of the original Derby Pie, a Kentucky classic that is basically a chocolate pecan pie, these cupcakes will bring the kids and adults running for more.

Be sure to pick up some Coton Colors derby details to dress up your event. Our new line of horse racing serving pieces, decor and gifts are the perfect addition to any fan's lineup. Greet party goers with our festive horse racing hang up or make everyday a derby day with any of our three Happy Everything horse race attachments. Serve on silks with our 8'' ruffle plates and dapple up your dips with matching jockey hat bowls.

Cross the finish line by giving your guests a fan-tastic frame favor to put their party pictures in. Whew, now your derby planning days are done! See you at the races...

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