Race Over to These Derby Day Events

Place your bets on a good time at these metro Detroit celebrations
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Stock photograph by coldbeer via Pexels.com

While the annual Kentucky Derby takes place roughly 375 miles south, some metro Detroit bars and restaurants are certainly getting into the racing spirit. Trot your way over to these events to sip on mint juleps and watch the race on May 4.

Derby for Kids

The Children’s Foundation hosts their annual Derby for Kids to support the American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC), The Children’s Foundation, and substance use disorder interventions this year. Take part in the event by donating or take a look at their auction page, which closes on May 5 at noon, to place bids. The main Derby event will take place May 4 from 4-8 p.m. at the Country Club of Detroit. Ticket prices range from $225 to $250. Country Club of Detroit, 220 Country Club Dr., Grosse Pointe Farms; yourchildrensfoundation.org.

2024 Kentucky Derby Day Party

This Derby-themed annual event combines star-studded entertainment and exciting apparel in an elegant setting. Guests will indulge in gourmet food stations, an open bar, and complimentary cigars, all while watching the Kentucky Derby race. This year, the event is taking to the grounds of Marygrove College, including their Open-Air Rose Garden, Main Ballroom, and The Jockeys Lounge. Proceeds from this day party will benefit Morehouse College and Black alumnus of University of Michigan and Michigan State University. Marygrove College, 8425 W. McNichols Road, Detroit; facebook.com/events.

Talk Derby To Me

Experience this Kentucky Derby celebration in style with Nashville recording artist and country singer-songwriter Hannah Ellis. Beginning at 5 p.m., enjoy line dancing classes, derby viewing, live music, and more. Be sure to bring your best derby attire, too, as derby-inspired fashion awards will include best dress, best hat, best bowtie, best couple, and more. Diamondback Music Hall, 49345 S. Interstate 94 Service Dr., Van Buren Charter Township; eventbrite.com.

Kentucky Derby Day Experience

Throw on your most fabulous outfit and bring your biggest hat to this Kentucky Derby Day Experience. Organized by Greater Southern Baptist Church Women’s Ministry, enjoy a day full of music, food, raffle prizes, comedy, vendors, and more. Tickets are $80. Of course, you will be watching the Derby, too. Burton Manor, 27777 Schoolcraft Road, Livonia; eventbrite.com.

2024 Kentucky Derby Gala

Join the Great Oaks Country Club in Rochester for Hope Against Trafficking’s third annual Derby Gala. Expect hats, horses, mint juleps, and cigars. The Gala will support survivors in Hope’s residential program as well as their community awareness an education initiatives. Guests will enjoy food, viewing stations, betting booths, silent and live auctions, raffles, and much more. Tickets start at $150. Great Oaks Country Club, 777 Great Oaks Blvd., Rochester Hills; hopeagainsttrafficking.org.

Mother’s Day Luncheon – Kentucky Derby Edition

This Mother’s Day Luncheon has a Kentucky Derby twist — think big hats, mint juleps, and auctions. Hosted by Detroit’s chapter of All In The Family, this special event combines honoring mothers and celebrating the derby. Expect food, dancing, signature cocktails, a hat stroll, and good company. Tickets are $50. The Luxe Ballroom, 23835 Greenfield Road, Southfield; eventbrite.com.

Run For The Roses Fundraising & Awards Dinner

The Detroit Regional Chamber and Camp Oakland are hosting their first derby-style fundraising dinner and awards celebration. Derby attire is encouraged, as photo booths will be spread throughout the venue. Enjoy a 50/50 raffle and a specialty dinner with award recognition for a good cause. Tickets are $100. The White Horse Inn, 1 E. High St., Metamora; detroitchamber.com/event.

This post has been updated for 2024.