We’re coming up fast on Kentucky Derby day! While the race itself may only last a couple of minutes, the fun lasts all day! It’s a day of large, grandiose hats, mint juleps, and people pretending they know all there is to know about horse racing. The Derby has been an iconic American tradition for over a century, having started at Churchill Downs in Louisville in 1875. It is the first of the three major races, along with Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes, that a horse must win to win the Triple Crown. This short race is often called “The most exciting two minutes in sports,” so be sure if you do go to a party, you time your bathroom breaks wisely so you don’t miss the action! Here in Atlanta, there will be plenty of opportunities to enjoy a Derby party. Here are a few of the best bets around town to watch the Run for the Roses.

Shepherd Center Derby Day

One of the best parts of Derby Day parties, besides the amazing hats, is that many of the events are held in coordination with or in support of, a respected charity organization. So you can have a great time and also support a good cause! That is the case at the Shepherd Center Derby Party at Chastain Horse Park. Guests will get to enjoy food and beverages, a silent auction, live music, lawn and casino games, and a live broadcast of the Kentucky Derby on big screen TVs. And all proceeds will go toward the Shepherd Center, a non-profit hospital specializing in research, treatment, and rehabilitation of people with spinal cord injury, brain injury, multiple sclerosis, spine and chronic pain, and other neuromuscular conditions. Their work is so important, and you can help by simply going and enjoying Atlanta’s biggest Kentucky Derby party!


If you don’t mind heading out to the suburbs, gallop out to Alpharetta for the party at the Avalon shopping center. This award winning derby party is sure to get you in the spirit of the event, with juleps, dancing, raffles, and more! Plus many of the restaurants at Avalon will be offering special Kentucky Derby day deals!


Alpha Derby Weekend

For some people, one day of celebrating is not enough! For them, there is the Alpha Derby Weekend. This weekend of fun is a series of fundraising events put on by the members of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity across the Atlanta Metro area. Start things off with the Kick-Off Social & Party on Friday night. Then Saturday, watch the race and enjoy the festivities at the Kentucky Derby Watch Party. And finish the weekend on Sunday with the wildly popular Sunday Jazz Brunch. It’s a classy affair that benefits local charities and organizations around Atlanta.

Wherever you go for the race, be sure to wear your hat with pride and have a fantastic time!



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