This year marked the 144th running of the Kentucky Derby, an occasion loved just as much for the fashion it encourages as the race itself. Although race day at Churchill Downs was one of the rainiest in Derby history, it was warm and sunny in Denver so Kentucky Derby fans came out in droves to celebrate at the vast array of parties around the city. Just in case you missed the parade of floppy hats, flower prints and bow ties that took over the city, we put together the best looks from some of Denver’s biggest Derby parties for you.
Denver Union Station
Denver Union Station, one if the city’s renowned historic landmarks, was the perfect setting for Derby fans of all ages to enjoy the festivities surrounding “The Run of the Roses.” Starting at noon, attendees strutted through the Great Hall in their best Derby-inspired attire, sipping mint juleps and listening to live music from La Pompe Jazz on Terminal Bar‘s expanded patio.
Curio at The Denver Central Market
Curio transformed the space outside The Denver Central Market into a garden party — lawn games included — for their Derby 2018 viewing party. Live music, cocktails, a pig roast and a shrimp boil were all part of the lineup for the day, attracting a wide variety of race enthusiasts. The ladies stole the show in ensembles topped with hats and fascinators of all shapes and sizes. New this year to the Curio bash was the partnership it created with The Gathering Place, the only daytime drop-in center in metropolitan Denver that serves women, their children and transgender individuals who are experiencing poverty. A percentage of the day’s proceeds went directly to benefit The Gathering Place and their programs.
In Denver, we love eclecticism, so when TheBigWonderful — an event that combines the best parts of a market and festival — began in 2014, bringing a beerfest, bluegrass and a bazaar to the city, we were overjoyed. TheBigWonderful kicked off its 2018 season with a weekend of Cinco De Mayo and Kentucky Derby Festivities. Attendees dressed down, opting to wear some understated Derby attire for the event, but they made sure to add sun, Trilby and Panama hats, as well as a few Newsboy caps to their outfits.
Photography by Amanda Piela.