Things to Do

Eight Great Kentucky Derby Parties and Bar Crawls

On Kentucky Derby day, we don seersucker suits and elaborate, giant hats in order to watch — maybe — a two-minute race happening halfway across the country. But here in Denver, we'll take any excuse to head out on the town to drink juleps, nosh on some good food and enjoy a little spring weather. Just remember, you have to be up early to take your mom to brunch on Sunday, so make like a horse and pace yourself. Here are eight spots to show off your best oversized head gear and drink enough to have a really hurting head Saturday. Giddy-up!    
   8. The Bar Car 
819 Colorado Boulevard 
The Bar Car throws one of the best derby parties around, and this year's version promises to be the best yet — as evidenced by the "Talk Derby to Me" mural proudly painted on one wall of the bar. The sixth annual Kentucky Derby Party here runs from 1 to 8 p.m. on May 7 and will feature live music by That Damn Sasquatch and Waitin' on Ray, giveaways, a silent auction, loads of juleps and floppy hats, and more. Best of all, the bar has teamed up with the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team In Training, the world’s largest sports-endurance charity, which will receive a portion of the proceeds. You can get all the information on the party on the event's Facebook page.   

7. CU South Denver
10035 South Peoria Street, Parker
CU South Denver will host a derby day party from 2:30 to 5 p.m. on Saturday.  You can dive into cocktails and derby-themed hors d’oeuvres like Kentucky hot browns, Southern-style pickled shrimp and Kentucky pecan pie, and there will be prizes for best hat and best-dressed for both women and men, as well as a fantasy race contest and derby-themed games. Tickets to the event are $40, $25 for designated drivers, and $30 for CU faculty, staff and alumni. Sorry kids, the event is 21 and over only. Purchase tickets and get all the details here 

6. Hyatt Regency Denver
650 15th Street
The Cancer Foundation will hold its ninth annual Jockeys, Juleps & Jazz Kentucky Derby party at the Hyatt Regency Hotel from 2 to 6 p.m. Saturday. The shindig will include hors d’oeuvres, beer, wine and, of course, signature mint juleps. There will also be live and silent auctions, a photo booth, hat contest, Southern fare and more, including the presentation of the 2016 George Karl Courage and George Karl Visionary Awards. Tickets to the party are $150 and can be purchased here

5Interstate Kitchen & Bar
1001 Santa Fe Drive
Interstate Kitchen & Bar will be showing the Kentucky Derby on several big screens while you feed on free snacks and mint julep specials. There will also be a pick-the-winner contest and more, with the fun starting at 3:30 p.m. Call the bar at 720-479-8829 for all the details.   

Keep reading for more derby action.
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Ben Landreth