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Eat and Drink

Kentucky Derby day events, parties and specials in NYC

You don't have to be in Louisville, Kentucky, to get in the Kentucky Derby spirit — you can don your seersucker suit or outrageous hat on May 4 at a number of city bars and restaurants.

Live race coverage starts at 2:30 p.m., so whether you’re all about the mint juleps, Southern eats, the horses, or just the hats, here’s where to watch the "greatest two minutes in sports." As always, your finest Derby day attire is a must.

The last derby day bash at Pete's Candy Store / mg

The last-ever Derby Day Bash at Pete's Candy
Photo Credit: Pete's Candy Store

The last-ever Derby Day Bash at Pete's Candy will have a millinery parade and contest judged by ex-derby infielder Miss JennyLyn, a taco "experience," a "pasture" of facts and figures about the derby and horses and much more. (Free entry, 3 p.m., 709 Lorimer, Brooklyn, petescandystore.com)

Free fried chicken, live music and raffles at Blue Smoke

Throughout the day, buckets of free fried chicken
Photo Credit: Claire Mosteller

Throughout the day, buckets of free fried chicken will be passed around as live music plays and guests sip on three kinds of mint juleps (a frozen julep, a Maker's Mark julep and a Blue Smoke Maker's Mark Private Select julep). Those who buy a julep will be entered into a raffle for a 20-year-old bottle of Pappy Van Winkle. Don't forget about the race though -- it will be projected on a big screen. Definitely wear your derby attire and RSVP to reserve a booth or balcony seating. (Free entry; 3 to 6 p.m.; 116 E. 27th St.,  resy.com)

Unlimited juleps and a live horse at Saxon + Parole

The restaurant takes its name from two 19th-century
Photo Credit: Saxon + Parole

The restaurant takes its name from two 19th-century racehorses that competed in the Kentucky Derby, so, naturally, it's hosting a party. Indulge in unlimited derby-style food, including fried chicken, beef ribs, cornbread, oysters, seafood towers, as well as some mint juleps and Mumm champagne. Watch your horse cross the finish line or take a photo with a real live horse, which will be on the premises. ($150, 3 to 7 p.m., 316 Bowery, Manhattan, eventbrite.com)

Open bar and contest for a cause at Ascent Lounge Bar

Benefiting the Children's Specialized Hospital, this derby party
Photo Credit: Tasaki Inc. Photography

Benefiting the Children's Specialized Hospital, this derby party includes a premium open bar, derby-themed bites, and a fashion contest as the Derby streams. ($125; 3 to 7 p.m.; The Shops at Columbus Circle -- 4th floor;  ascentloungederby.com)

Live music, horse betting and juleps at Brooklyn Derby

Take in Derby day with live music, horse
Photo Credit: Maker's Mark

Take in Derby day with live music, horse betting, dancing, a bourbon garden, corn toss, hat-making, a Maker's Mark photo booth and more. ($85, 4 to 8 p.m., Greenwood Park, 555 Seventh Ave., Brooklyn, brooklynderby.com)

Watermelon martinis and more at The Ribbon

The Ribbon Midtown, a modern eatery known for
Photo Credit: The Ribbon

The Ribbon Midtown, a modern eatery known for its craft cocktails, is hiring a DJ and inviting guests to come in their best outfits. Drinks include a Woodford Reserve Mint Julep, a Keeneland Breeze, a Derby Day Bloody Mary;and a watermelon martini. (Free entry, 220 W. 44th St.; 44.theribbonnyc.com)

Music, specials and prizes at Parklife

Parklife's 4,000-square-foot space is great for Derby day.
Photo Credit: Deb Klein

Parklife's 4,000-square-foot space is great for Derby day. The restaurant is ready with three indoor and outdoor screens and different types of mint juleps, with food and contests for the best dressed, best hat, best seersucker and more. (Free entry but RSVP, 2 to 7 p.m., 636 DeGraw St., Brooklyn, parklifebk.com)

4-hour open bar, games and projector screen at The Wilson

The Wilson, a contemporary American restaurant, is putting
Photo Credit: The Wilson

The Wilson, a contemporary American restaurant, is putting up a big screen projector and tuning in several 80-inch TVs to the derby. Enjoy four hours of open bar, tunes from a live DJ; pop-a-shot, giant Jenga, and more on its patio. Reserve a table by emailing reservations@ingoodcompany.com. ($60, 132 W. 27th St.; universe.com)

Champagne bar, dancing and hidden speakeasy at Refinery Rooftop

Head to the Refinery Hotel, its rooftop and
Photo Credit: Refinery Rooftop

Head to the Refinery Hotel, its rooftop and Winnie's Jazz Bar for four hours of open bar (starring: Mint Juleps, a Millionaire's Row champagne bar, passed hors d'oeuvres, and more), music by several DJs and a hidden speakeasy. The best-dressed guest will get a trip to next year's derby. ($150, 63 W. 38th St.; https://www.universe.com)

Jazz and a costume contest at The Roof

Enjoy southern jazz as you sip on a
Photo Credit: Noah Fecks for Gerber Group

Enjoy southern jazz as you sip on a mint or raspberry julep and munch on southern food dishes (fried chicken and biscuit sliders, country ham deviled eggs and fried pickles), and if you are deemed the best dressed in your derby-style get-up, you could win a gift certificate to The Roof. (Free entry, 1 p.m., 124 W. 57th St., theroofny.com)

Churchill Downs at Boulton & Watt

Who needs to travel when you can head
Photo Credit: Boulton & Watt

Who needs to travel when you can head to Boulton & Watt's Churchill Downs-themed party? The restaurant and bar will have artificial turf, inflatable horses and derby props and will offer Bulleit Bourbon Juleps and Ketel One Botanical Spritzes for $8 starting at 3 p.m. Wear your best hat for a contest that could win you a $100 Boulton & Watt gift card. Reservations can be made by calling 646-490-6004. (Free entry, 5 Avenue A, boultonandwattnyc.com)

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