Talk Derby to me but make it socially distanced

With a little planning, the “Greatest Two Minutes in Sports” can be safe and fun at home! The Kentucky Derby is quickly approaching with The Derby Festival kicking off the celebrations this year with social distanced events and virtual viewing. Use these tips to make your home the best spot for in-home fashion and sports.

Let guests know what to expect before they arrive

The invitation is the most important place to begin in the planning process. Remind guests to wear masks, even if they are vaccinated, besides when they are eating or drinking.

Include in your invitation if the party will be indoors or outdoors. This will allow your guests to dress properly and plan to purchase other items such as bug spray, sunscreen or appropriate outdoor footwear. Planning to host your party outdoors makes for an easy and safe venue to social distance. As always, have a secondary option in mind for your party in case of inclement weather.

Most importantly, be sure your invitation answers the question of, “Will there be food?” You don’t want hungry guests ruining your Derby celebrations! If there will be a bar or drinks available, include that as well. Guest should know what to expect for food, entertainment, COVID-19 safety guidance and how long they may be there.

Gathering safely during COVID-19

Make sure your guests are following steps to make your gathering safe. Some tips to follow are:

  • Limit the amount of guests to adhere to the six feet social distancing guidelines
  • Be sure there is plenty of ventilation if hosting indoors, by opening doors and/or windows
  • Encourage your guest to wash their hands frequently for at least 20 seconds
  • Disinfect high-touched surfaces

Have a checklist for your party essentials

You can make a list with categories and subtasks to compartmentalize and to help ease the anxiety that can come with party planning. A simple breakdown that can be used is:

Food – Plan if the food will be outdoors to reduce guests coming into your home and that the food will be prepared and safely stored to prevent food contamination. Some food and serving ideas include:

  • Country ham sandwiches
  • Corn pudding
  • Southern foods or appetizers
  • Plasticware
  • Napkins
  • Individual containers/wrapping
  • Food station location

Drinks – Have mixed drinks premade in serving dispensers or a “bar” setup with hand sanitizers and sanitizing wipes available. Be sure to have a variety of drinks that cater to all of your guests, such as:

  • Mint Juleps
  • Oaks Lily
  • Mocktails
  • Water
  • Juice

Décor – Using themed merchandise will turn your home into your own millionaire’s row. Some ideas are:

  • Check locally owned storefronts
  • Themed hand sanitizers as party favors
  • If curbside pick-up is not available or you have concerns about shopping in person, check online for items that can be used on the front door or the table. Items such as:
    • Photo props
    • Horseshoes
    • Roses
    • Themed games

Miscellaneous needs – Some items that can easily slip the mind but are a necessary part of the planning. Don’t forget these COVID-19 party planning essentials:

  • Hand sanitizer
  • Sanitizing wipes
  • Surgical masks
  • Permanent marker to write names of guests so they won’t lose their cups or another’s cup
  • A clear path to and from the restroom(s) with six-foot distances marked
  • Small tent for shade
  • Healthy recipes

Most of all, do not forget The Run for the Roses

Be sure to plan everything around the time to watch the race. Turn the TV in the party area on so everyone can view the 2021 Kentucky Derby. Don’t miss the two minutes of racing while having fun!

Did you know UofL Health has a mass vaccine drive-thru next to Cardinal Stadium? We have more than 20 drive-thru lines ready to serve those 16 and older. With vaccines and convenient appointments available, it’s easier now than ever to receive your shot before race day. This week only (April 21-23), the Cardinal Stadium site will extend hours to 8 p.m. Regular operation hours are 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Schedule your appointment today by visiting



About UofL Health

UofL Health is a fully integrated regional academic health system with five hospitals, four medical centers, nearly 200 physician practice locations, more than 700 providers, the Frazier Rehab Institute and Brown Cancer Center. With more than 12,000 team members – physicians, surgeons, nurses, pharmacists and other highly skilled health care professionals, UofL Health is focused on one mission—one purpose—delivering patient-centered care to each and every patient—each and every day. To learn more visit

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