How To Celebrate The Kentucky Derby

May 4 marks the 145th Kentucky Derby horse race. And while you may not be donning a Derby hat while sipping mint juleps in Louisville, the East End has a few events that could be considered the next best thing.

Here are a few ways you can experience “The Most Exciting Two Minutes In Sports” when the first leg of the triple crown comes to a TV near you.

Centro Trattoria & Bar in Hampton Bays is celebrating the derby on Saturday, May 4, starting at 4 PM. There will be a grand prize for best hat and participation giveaways. Prizes include a $250 gift card and a bottle of Woodford Reserve.

The Montauk Beach House is hosting a Kentucky Derby Party. On Saturday, May 4, starting at 2 PM, celebrate the Kentucky Derby and watch the races live. There will be a champagne tower and official race toast. Sip on a refreshing mint julep, play some Derby games, enjoy some Southern style grub all while dancing to a brass band and live entertainment. For more info, visit

The Hampton Bays Historical Society presents a Derby Party at the Lyzon Hat Museum on Saturday, May 4, at 4:30 PM under the tent. There will be cocktails and hors d’oeuvres by Golden Pear. Tickets are $50 or $60 at the door. Visit or call 631-728-0887.

For those hosting a soirée at home, the opportunities are plentiful for you to style your party in race day tradition. In true Kentucky Derby fashion, be sure to serve guests mint julep cocktails. The mint julep, an iced drink consisting of bourbon, mint, and sugar syrup, is the traditional beverage of the race.

Ladies, be sure to dress in lavishly accessorized outfits with large, elaborate hats. Race day also gives men an excuse to be equally decked out. According to, “The modern Derby man possesses an unparalleled color palette. Sun-drenched, tropical colors in bold stripes or busy plaid and bright pastels steal the limelight.”

Decorate with roses. The Derby is frequently referred to as “The Run for the Roses,” because of the lush blanket of 554 red roses that is awarded to the winner each year.

The tradition originated in 1883 when New York socialite E. Berry Wall presented roses to ladies at a post-Derby party that was attended by Churchill Downs founder and president, Col. M. Lewis Clark. This gesture is believed to have led Clark to the idea of making the rose the race’s official flower.

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