FYIDC: Party for the Ponies

Break out the fancy hats and celebrate the Kentucky Derby right here in Washington.
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The 2006 Kentucky Derby. (Photo take by Tabitha Kaylee Hawk)

The 2006 Kentucky Derby. (Photo taken by Tabitha Kaylee Hawk)

There’s no need to miss out on the suspense, thrill and notable fashions that make up the Kentucky Derby (May 5) just because you can’t make it to Louisville. Washingtonians are getting into the spirit of the 138th anniversary of the biggest horse race known to man, hosting several events in honor of the race that first took place in 1875.

Though many things about the derby have changed over the past 100-plus years, many traditions still live on. Mint juleps, that deceptively innocent-sounding libation, and over-sized hats have become customary symbols of the “fastest two minutes in American sports.”

Here are some of our favorite places to saddle up and get into the action.

Bonnets and Bow Ties

The Willard InterContinental is hosting its 28th annual Kentucky Derby viewing party on Saturday, May 5, from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. The $75 cover fee includes red carpet entry, two handcrafted Henry Clay Mint Juleps or two cocktails of your choice, and a traditional Southern buffet with prizes and raffles throughout the evening. Private table reservations are also available for parties of 10 for $700.

Big Hat Brunch

Wear your biggest hat to the Red Derby, located at 3718 14th St. NW, on Saturday, May 5, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Indulge in signature mint juleps for only $5 and traditional derby pies while watching the race on the big screen.

Best in Show

The Perry Center’s Young Leadership Council hosts its 4th annual Kentucky Derby event at the Iron Horse Tap Room on May 5, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Don your best derby outfit for a chance to win a $100 bar tab. Raffles and discounted drinks will also be available. Single tickets are $25 if ordered in advance and $30 if purchased at the door.

The 2012 Kentucky Derby will be held on May 5 at 5 p.m. (Photo taken by John Athayde)

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