The 149th Kentucky Derby will take place Saturday, May 6, 2023, at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. It’s known as “The Run for the Roses” because of the blanket of 554 red roses bestowed upon the winning horse.
The Kentucky Derby is also known for the traditions of drinking mint juleps and wearing elaborate hats at the race.
It’s probably a good thing that the traditions leading up to the race are so treasured, because the 1 1/4-mile race itself only lasts about two minutes. So, although the race starts at 6:50 p.m., if you’d like to celebrate, the parties will be going on all day. Other races will be going on all day, starting around 10:30 a.m.
Here are a few Derby Day parties around Charlotte. None have a cover charge. (There are some great parties that are pretty pricey but they’re not on our list.) Make sure to follow the links for details. Some will be showing the race and some are just a party. Know of others that should be included? Let us know and we might be able to add them, time permitting.
You can probably catch the race at most sports bars, too.
Kentucky Derby Parties in the Charlotte Area
Kentucky Derby Watch party at Divine Barrel Brewing
Divine Barrel Brewing, at 3701 N. Davidson Street, is hosting a Derby Day Party on May 6, 2023, from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. The party features luck-based games, horseshoes, cornhole, Derby Day betting for charity, Derby Bingo, a hat and fashion contest and more. The brewery’s small batch Mint Julep beer returns, and all the races will be shown throughout the day.
Derby Day at Lore Brewing Company
Lore Brewing Company, at 1218 Rosemont Drive, Indian Land, South Carolina, is hosting a Derby Day celebration starting at 12 p.m. Coverage will be on the TVs and they’ll be showing the main event with sound on.
Place your “bets” for your horse all day by enjoying a Lore pint. Each Lore pint bought gets you a “bet” for the main event, so bet it all on one horse, or place multiple bets. Make sure to get your bets in before the main event for your chance to win. They’ll be drawing from the winning horse’s bets for a lucky winner of a $50 Lore gift card.
Stick around after the race and enjoy music from the Brews Brothers in the taproom.
Derby Day at Hi-Wire Brewing
Hi-Wire Brewing, at 340 West Tremont Avenue, Charlotte, is holding a Derby Day party earlier in the day, from 12 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. It includes a fancy hat contest from 12 to 2 p.m., and adoptable dogs from Catering to Cats and Dogs. The event description says you can “ride a horse” and we’re currently gathering intel on that.
Watch Kentucky Derby at Birkdale
The Kentucky Derby will be shown on the big screen at Birkdale Village, starting at 12 p.m. It’s free to watch, and first-come, first served. Birkdale Village is at Birkdale Commons Parkway and Sam Furr Road, Huntersville.
Derby Day Party at Great Wagon Road Distilling Co.
Great Wagon Road Distilling Co., at 610 Anderson Street, Charlotte, is hosting a Derby Day Party starting at 12 p.m. Compete for prizes, like distillery tours, with your best attire and hat. Sip on Mint Juleps made with the distillery’s Quinn’s Carolina Whiskey and watch the races on multiple screens.
List of Kentucky Derby Events
There may be some Derby Day events on our calendar that we haven’t added to the highlights above, and they’d be on the following list: