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The Best Kentucky Derby Watch Parties in Fort Worth — Mint Juleps, Best Dressed Contests, and More

Celebrate The 150th Annual Race With These Stylish Festivities

BY // 04.24.24

This year marks a momentous occasion in American sports, for both horse racing fans and all of you who live to dress up for this iconic Southern tradition. May 4 marks the 150th Kentucky Derbythe longest-running sporting event in U.S. history

If you can’t make the trip to Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky this year, there are plenty of Kentucky Derby watch parties being held around Fort Worth. It’s time to pull out that summer-weight seersucker suit and bow tie or don your boldest hat or feathered fascinator.

Down & Derby Day at Whiskey Ranch

TX Whiskey Ranch will celebrate the Kentucky Derby from 2 pm to 7 pm on May 4. Guests are invited to don their best derby attire and hat to receive 10 percent off in the Ranch Store, and the best dressed will be entered into a drawing for a grand prize.

The TX Mint Julep cocktail will be available among other TX signature sips. Races will be streaming in the grand Oak Room all day and guests can enjoy live music, and nosh at available food trucks. Airstyle Art engraving will be on hand for complimentary bottle engraving with the purchase of your favorite bottle and a photo booth will capture the moment. Tickets are $15 per person including admission and one cocktail.

TX Mint Julep served in a classic Julep Cup.

Circle Bar at Fort Worth’s Crescent Hotel

The Crescent Hotel will host its first, festive Kentucky Derby watch party at The Circle Bar, which will open at 11 am. The stylish atmosphere will include folks sipping on mint juleps, and nibbling on Circle Bar favorites, including fresh oysters. Kentucky Derby attire and hats are encouraged to celebrate in style.

Proper on Magnolia

Proper on Magnolia is hosting its seventh annual Derby Party, complete with a live feed of the race. There will be a mint julep competition and guests get to choose the winner from five entries made with Angel’s Envy, Heaven’s Door, Woodford, Wyoming Whiskey, and Giffard ― so taste testing is in store.

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The Mohawk Chef, Stefon Rishel will be at Proper dishing up the eats and you can even wish owner Lisa Little Adams a happy birthday while you are there. I hear there might be two 5’s involved.

Raise a Glass At Live! by Loews in Arlington

Watch the ponies run at Live! by Loews – Arlington either in Bar Bourbon or stroll on the Veranda. Director of outlets and master mixologist, James Carpenter has crafted a special cocktail for the occasion.

The Kentucky Derby cocktail will have you off to the races with a true taste of Southern sophistication. It’s the bar’s classic Bourbon Sidecar, made with Four Roses single barrel bourbon, lemon juice, Cointreau, and a touch of orange bitters.

Bourbon Sidecar by master mixologist, James Carpenter at Live by Loews.

Run for the Roses Derby Party

The Kentucky Derby is made for an afternoon of horse races, mint juleps and delicious food, fancy hats, and best-dressed contests, and you might as well be benefitting a great cause while you’re at it — the American Cancer Society.

The Cowtown Ball is celebrating its 31st year in Fort Worth as a top Tarrant County gala. This event has raised more than $8 million for the American Cancer Society in the Fort Worth area over the years. Individual tickets are $125, or $200 per couple.

Join the likes of motion picture celebrities, such as Jimmy Stewart and Joan Crawford, and walk the halls of the Historic Fuller House ― which is a swanky backdrop for this year’s Kentucky Derby party. The nearly 70-year-old house is only one of two in Fort Worth to be designed by famed architect A. Quincy Jones, and his Hollywood style can be seen throughout.

Clay Pigeon

Chef Marcus Paslay invites you to go back in time with a guided tasting of Old Forester Whiskey row bourbons. Learn about the historic Old Forester distillery and taste four bourbons with small bites paired by executive chef Spencer Arthur. There’s a $10 fee — book on Resy.

Then, stay to watch the Kentucky Derby with a mint julep in hand, prepared by lead bartender, Ethan Goettch. Derby Day attire is encouraged, though not required.

Derby Day – This year marks the 150th running of the Kentucky Derby.
This year marks the 150th running of the Kentucky Derby.

Harvest Hall in Grapevine

Watch the Derby and enjoy specialty craft cocktails from Hendrix, Woodford, Old Forester, Herradura, and more. Harvest Hall is hosting a free event. Third Rail doors will open at noon with live coverage from Churchill Downs all afternoon.

This year, the Grapevine food hall is celebrating the best two minutes of horse racing with food, drinks, and live music. You can even get your picture taken with a winning horse. And, they’ll be giving out prizes for best hat and best dressed.

Rusty Nickle IceHouse

Meet at the winner’s circle with your big hats and bow ties at Rusty Nickle’s Talk Derby To Me watch party. Purchase tickets for $30 per person. Dress to impress because there will be sketch artists and personalized cup engravers.

It will be a day of mint juleps and more cocktails sponsored by Crown Royal and Ketel One. Big Dawgs food truck will serve up delicious derby delights, and guests can take pics in front of the ultimate Winner’s Circle backdrop by Party Pop Co.

The fashion, and social opportunity, not to mention the pomp and circumstance around one of America’s oldest sporting traditions is worth celebrating, as the Run for the Roses heads to the starting gate for the 150th time.

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