Residents of southeast Michigan won’t have to travel to Louisville, Kentucky, Saturday to sip a Mint Julep or two and wear flamboyant hats while watching the Kentucky Derby.
Here is a sampling of Derby parties that will be unfolding throughout the metro-Detroit area that offer Derby-inspired drinks, fancy-hat contests and — in some cases — opportunities to plop down a wager on your favorite horse.
Sean O’Callaghan’s, 821 Penniman, Plymouth
The downtown Plymouth tavern’s annual Kentucky Derby party will feature Mint Juleps — the longtime unofficial alcoholic beverage of the Derby — and complimentary roses.
As a bonus, there will prizes for the best Kentucky Derby headwear and outfits.
This event is usually heavily attended, so reservations are suggested by call 734-459-6666.
Northville Downs, 301 S. Center St., Northville
Not only can you watch live racing at Michigan’s last horse-racing venue Saturday, you can watch the Derby and enter a Derby Hat Selfie Contest.
Quite the trifecta!
To enter the contest, wear you most extravagant and outstanding Derby hat to Northville Downs Saturday, take a selfie with your hat atop your head while standing in front of the winner’s circle steps and post the picture.
One lucky participant will win dinner for two at the Trotside restaurant on a future date for the 2023 racing season. The prize is for dinner only and for attendees 18 years old and older.
Indianwood Golf & Country Club, 1081 Indianwood Rd., Lake Orion
Indianwood is turning its Derby Gala into a worthwhile fundraiser that will support survivors of human trafficking and a community outreach and education program.
VIP and general admission tickets are available for the event, which runs from 4:30 to 8 p.m. with tickets ranging from $175 to $250.
In addition to the broadcast of the Derby, there will be raffles, silent auctions and a VIP reception.
The gala is presented by ASAP Express & Logistics Inc.
The Detroit Zoo, 8450 W 10 Mile Rd., Royal Oak
Circle Events in conjunction with PNC Bank are teaming up to present The 2023 Detroit Kentucky Derby Day Party on the grounds of The Detroit Zoo.
Hosting this Gala at such a palatial venue creates the perfect ambiance for what we feel will be our best Derby experience yet, the zoo’s website says.
The Detroit Zoo features a massive footprint as it will utilize the entire south grounds, including: the Ford Education Center, the Leaf Room (VIP accommodations), the events pavilion, on-site restaurant, dining tent, cigar coves, plus so much more.
The space offers a tremendous array of seating and will include a huge dance area, multiple bars and food options.
Everyone attending will enjoy complimentary parking. The zoo’s enormous lot will also provide direct access to the Derby entrance gates, providing an effortless walk from your vehicle.
“Also, don’t be surprised if you witness a quick cameo by our friend Harry the Giraffe or Lola the Peacock,” the event’s organizers added.
The event is sponsored by PNC Bank.
Green Dot Stables, 2200 W. Lafayette, Detroit
This well-known Detroit party spot’s Derby party will kick off at 4 p.m. with music and run well past the 6:45 p.m. Derby post time.
“Enjoy the horse racing and show up like you’re ready to race!” the Green Dot Stables promotional literature says. “Wear your best derby outfits to the event and compete in the categories of Best Hat and Best Dressed for a chance to win Green Dot goodies.”
A special eight-foot selfie wall will feature fresh roses in celebration.
Menu highlights include hot browns, cheeseburger sliders, derby pie, and of course, the classic Mint Julep. Click here to learn more.