It’s almost time for the 142nd running of the Kentucky Derby. If you can’t make it to Churchill Downs on May 7, you can still celebrate the fastest two minutes in sports at several places in Scottsdale and throughout the Valley.

Here’s a look at some of the most popular annual parties that bring a taste of the South to our city!

Fairmont Scottsdale Princess

The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess pulls out all the stops for its annual Kentucky Derby Party. Hosted at Bourbon Steak, the resort’s premier restaurant, the party features a complete Southern-style lunch, dessert bar, three cocktails, live music, racing games, and a keepsake Kentucky Derby glass. In the past, the resort has also brought in a retired thoroughbred, saddled and ready for the races, to add to the ambiance. Cost is $95 per person for the party, which runs from 1 pm to 4:30 pm. The Fairmont Princess is located at 7575 E. Princess Dr., Scottsdale, 480-585-4848.

The Bevvy

The gastro pub in Old Town Scottsdale will be holding its second annual Kentucky Derby Party this year. Although the website hasn’t posted anything on this year’s event yet, based off of last year, expect drink specials and contests for “Best Hat,” “Biggest Hat,” and “Best Dressed” (in both male and female categories). Following the live broadcast of the Derby, the big screens will show the Amir Khan vs. Saul “Canelo” Alvarez fight. The Bevvy is located at 4420 N. Saddlebag Trail, Scottsdale and they can be reached at 480-525-9300.

Turf Paradise

If you can’t make it to Kentucky for the race, Turf Paradise is the next best thing – at least in Arizona. The track’s Kentucky Derby Party begins at 7:15 am when the doors open. Several package options include breakfast and lunch buffets as well as a commemorative Kentucky Derby glass. There’ll also be a fashion contest, live music, and of course, mint juleps. Races at Turf Paradise begin at 11:30 am with the live simulcast of the Kentucky Derby scheduled for approximately 3:24 pm. Turf Paradise is located at 1501 W. Bell Rd., Phoenix, and they can be reached at 602-942-1101.

The Phoenician

The Phoenician is once again partnering with Woodford Reserve for its annual Derby Day Garden Party from 1 pm to 4 pm on its Orchid Lawn. In addition to lunch, mint juleps, and a special viewing of the race, the resort will have Kentucky Derby bottles of Woodford Reserve Bourbon as well as The Phoenician’s own private label available for purchase and engraving. A portion of all proceeds will benefit After the Homestretch-Arizona, an organization providing forever homes for former racehorses. Several of the horses will be on hand for photographs. The Phoenician is located at 6000 E. Camelback Rd., Scottsdale, and they can be reached at 480-941-8200.

Southern Rail

Chef Justin Beckett’s restaurant, Southern Rail, celebrates southern cuisine, so it’s only fitting the restaurant would also embrace the Kentucky Derby spirit. Enjoy mint juleps and tasty Southern bites as you watch the Run for the Roses on the restaurant’s multiple screens. Southern Rail encourages Derby attire, including big hats (of course), and will hold fashion contests.  Southern Rail is located just off the light rail at 300 W. Camelback Rd., Phoenix, and they can be reached at 602-200-0085.

Where will you take in this year’s big event? Wherever you go in the Valley, you’re sure to enjoy great drinks, plenty of sunshine, and delicious food!

Don Matheson
Realtor | Founder
The Matheson Team – RE/MAX Fine Properties
21000 N. Pima Rd., #100, Scottsdale, AZ 85255