Are you ready for the most exciting two minutes in sports? The 142nd Kentucky Derby is ready to run on May 7. Ever since 1875, the Derby, the pinnacle of horseracing, has hit Churchill Downs in Louisville. Ladies don big hats. Men put on seersucker suits. Everyone drinks mint juleps. Can’t make it to Churchill Downs? Plenty of Chicago bars and clubs are hosting Derby events where you can get all dolled up and cheer on the ponies. Check it out…
Pearl Tavern hosts the Bourbon & Oysters Celebration from 3:30 to 6 p.m. where you’ll get bourbon tastings, mint juleps and small bites while watching live coverage of the race. Derby attire is required and tickets cost $45 with a portion of proceeds benefitting the Chicago Children’s Choir. 180 N. Wacker
Untitled Supper Club kicks things off at 2 p.m. for its Derby Jubilee. The Bourbon Aristocracy performs live bluegrass while you enjoy complimentary bites and classic cocktails courtesy of Old Forrester and Woodford Reserve bourbons. Admission is free but you need to RSVP . 111 W. Kinzie
State & Lake inside the Wit hotel will throw a Derby party from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. with food specials, large-format juleps ($100) and single serve sizes ($12). Get a chance to win a $150 gift card to the Wit for those donning Derby attire. Live music from 11 to 3. 201 N. State
The Bedford draws you into its bank vault lounge for a post-Derby Run for the Roses party. From 5:30 p.m. onward, enjoy complimentary rosé wine tasting (until 7:30), $5 shots of Four Roses bourbon and $5 Revolution Rosa beers.
Derby wouldn’t live up to its name if it didn’t host a party of its own. The Lincoln Park tavern opens its doors at 1 p.m. for its fourth annual Derby event. The $20 ticket includes a premium buffet, a professional photographer and chances to win prizes for best hat and best dressed. And, of course, there will be plenty of drink specials and a bugler to kick things off. 1224 W. Webster
And if you need to see some real ponies, head out to Arlington Park for Chicago’s largest Derby party. Be one of the first 2,500 in the park (after buying tickets in advance) and take home a commemorative Derby glass. Enjoy drink and food specials, live music and a chance to wine $1,000