The Ultimate Derby Day Celebration at The Ritz-Carlton, Denver

Photo Courtesy of Lauren Black

Derby Day took place at The Ritz-Carlton, Denver on Saturday, May 6th. Denver Derby Day is an exciting and luxurious event that combines the thrill of horse racing, fashion and the opulence of a five-star hotel. The Kentucky Derby takes place each year on the first Saturday in May, and draws a crowd of both locals and visitors looking to experience the excitement and glamour of the races. The Ritz-Carlton, Denver served as the perfect backdrop for this highly anticipated event.

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Kevin Larson, the creator and owner of Kevin Larson Events, chose to move the event to The Ritz-Carlton, Denver because he recognized that the hotel was exceptional, upscale, and a perfect partner for the event. Upon arrival, guests were greeted by a red carpet and a sea of stylish hats, fascinators, and bow ties. Fashion is an essential element of Derby Day at The Ritz-Carlton, Denver event. Guests were encouraged to dress in their most stylish and chic attire, with many opting for traditional Derby Day fashion, including elegant dresses, tailored suits, and, of course, elaborate hats and fascinators. Larson mentions “My style changes every year, I never know what I’m going to wear. I love to shake it up a little bit, be a little bit obnoxious and give it a pop.” The fashion at Derby Day at The Ritz-Carlton, Denver was a highlight at the event.

The mimosa brunch kicked off the event, and it’s an absolute must for those who appreciate delicious cuisine, delightful company, and a vibrant ambiance. The brunch buffet was a feast for the senses, with a wide variety of dishes to choose from. This included traditional brunch favorites like eggs benedict, bacon, and waffles, as well as more exotic options like charcuterie, and artisanal cheeses. Attendees dressed up in their finest Derby hats and outfits, adding to the sense of occasion.

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Many women choose to wear brightly colored, flowy dresses or skirts paired with statement accessories such as bold earrings and necklaces. However, the most iconic and traditional Derby Day fashion item was the hat or fascinator. These headpieces ranged from simple and understated to elaborate and eye-catching. Many had feathers, flowers, fun prints and even small animals. Men were also expected to dress to impress, this included them wearing dapper suits paired with statement accessories such as pocket squares, ties and bow ties. As for headwear, many wore fedoras and classic wide-brimmed hats.

Larson said “Women tend to go more over the top, they really dig deep and get excited. Most of them spend their last month’s paycheck on the hat and the dress and it truly turns out amazing. It’s also nice to see men find cool bow ties or perfect derby hats, and get creative. I love watching how crazy the outfits get.” The overall fashion style at the Denver Derby Day event was elegant, refined, and sophisticated.

The Ritz-Carlton, Denver ballroom was transformed into a stunning Derby-themed setting, complete with oversized hats and jockey silks, and elegant floral arrangements. The atmosphere was festive and lively, with guests mingling, sipping mint juleps, and placing bets on the big race. Furthermore, the presence of Canine Partners of the Rockies and their future service dogs at the Denver Derby Day event adds an extra layer of excitement and meaning to the festivities.

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Guests had the opportunity to interact with the adorable pups while learning about the valuable work that this organization does to enhance the lives of individuals with disabilities in the community. In addition to getting their photos taken with the furry friends in their festive derby hats, attendees also had the opportunity to bid on unique items in the live and silent auction to support this worthy cause. The partnership between the Denver Derby Day event and Canine Partners of the Rockies served as a reminder of the power of community as well as the joy that can come from giving back.

Throughout the day, guests enjoyed a variety of activities and entertainment, including live music, horse-themed games and contests, and a live broadcast of the Kentucky Derby. There were also several photo booths and selfie stations by GBPhoto set up around the venue, which allowed guests to capture their stylish outfits and memorable moments. Of course, the highlight of the event is the actual horse race, which was broadcasted on large screens throughout the ballroom. The excitement in the room was palpable as guests cheered on their chosen horse and jockey, hoping to strike it lucky and win big.

In terms of food and drink, the Ritz Carlton’s team of expert chefs and mixologists crafted a menu of delicious, Derby-inspired bites and cocktails. The drink menu included Mint Juleps, Horse Shoe Ranch Water, Woodford Reserve Bourbon, Hendrick’s Gin and wine options. From bourbon-glazed pork belly sliders to Kentucky Snack Plates and Fried Chicken Waffle Cones, the food was both delicious and perfectly paired with signature cocktails and other refreshing drinks.

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The After-Derby Party was eagerly anticipated by all, as it promised to continue the festivities that had started earlier in the day at the Kentucky Derby. With multiple DJs, two dance floors, and a mouth-watering variety of cocktails and food, the afterparty had something to offer for everyone. As the night went on, the guests continued to dance, drink, and socialize, savoring every moment of the luxurious after-derby party at the Ritz Carlton, Denver. It was a magical evening and a fitting end to an unforgettable day.

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Derby Day at the Ritz Carlton, Denver was a must-attend event for anyone looking to experience the thrill and excitement of the races in a luxurious and unforgettable setting. From the stylish attire to the delicious food and drink, and of course, the exhilarating horse race itself, the event left a lasting impression on all who attended.

Beyond the glamorous fashion and thrilling horse race, Derby Day at the Ritz Carlton, Denver also offered a chance to give back to the community through its partnership with Canine Partners of the Rockies. With all of these elements combined, Derby Day at the Ritz Carlton, Denver was truly an exceptional event that captured the spirit of the iconic Kentucky Derby in its own unique and stylish way.


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