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The Best Ways to Celebrate the Kentucky Derby This Weekend

This is what Union Station has looked like on Derby Day in years past.EXPAND
This is what Union Station has looked like on Derby Day in years past.
Courtesy Union Station
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While the 2020 Kentucky Derby was postponed from May to September (and without spectators), the 147th Run for the Roses is back in its rightful spot on the calendar this year, and a limited number of fans will be able to attend the festivities at Louisville's famous Churchill Downs. While two of Denver's biggest events — the Denver Derby Party and the Denver Mini Derby — aren’t on this year, there are still a number of places around town where you can don an over-the-top hat, swank out in seersucker, sip on a mint julep or three and cheer your favorite filly as they fly to the finish line. Post time for the 2021 Kentucky Derby is set for approximately 4:57 p.m. — but the festivities will start early and run late. Here's what's happening in the Mile High:

Terminal Bar
1701 Wynkoop Street
720-460-3701

Derby Day is back at Denver’s Union Station, and it promises to be swellegant. While the VIP Cooper Lounge and Garden Dome picnic options are already sold out, dapper guests can still watch the race inside the Terminal Bar or out on its patio, which will also feature live music from the Royal Street Ramblers. Enjoy a Woodford Reserve mint julep or frosé along with other food and drink specials, and wear your most festive mask: Best one gets a prize.

All dressed up and no place to go? Poka Lola is as fancy as your Derby Day hat!EXPAND
All dressed up and no place to go? Poka Lola is as fancy as your Derby Day hat!
Danielle Lirette

Poka Lola Social Club
1850 Wazee Street
720-460-2725

Live music, themed cocktails and giveaways (will it be a pony!?) will be the order of the day at the Dairy Block’s Poka Lola Social Club in LoDo. The fun kicks off on Saturday at noon, with music from 4 to 8 p.m. Not only will you be able to sip juleps, but there will also be a Derby Daisy and Hibiscus Highball, all made with Woodford bourbon.

West End Tavern
926 Pearl Street, Boulder
303-444-3535

Pearl Street will be soaked in bourbon this weekend at Boulder’s West End Tavern. Thursday, April 29, through Sunday, May 2, you can swing by for $10 Woodford Reserve mint juleps, $12 pours of exclusive Derby Woodford Reserve and other drink specials. There’ll be Kentucky-fried chicken and waffles, Derby deviled eggs, and a prize for the best hat. Reservations are encouraged.

The Golden Mill is ready for race day.EXPAND
The Golden Mill is ready for race day.
Mark Antonation

The Golden Mill
1012 Ford Street, Golden
720-405-6455

Getting out to Golden? The town's newest gathering place, the Golden Mill, will have music (the Carbone Family Band from 1 to 3 p.m. and Burn It Blue from 6 to 8 p.m.), the race up on the TVs and mint juleps on tap at the vast self-pour wall o' beverages.

The Monkey Barrel
4401 Tejon Street
720-638-3655

What do crawfish and Kentucky have in common? We don’t know, but the Monkey Barrel’s Crawfish & Kentucky Derby Party still sounds like a good time. Watch the race on more than twenty indoor and outdoor screens while sipping brews imported from the Bluegrass State and feasting on a mess of “mudbugs” from the Bayou Boys’ Cajun and Creole food truck.

TheBigWonderful
Newport Street and East Chenango Avenue

There won’t be a viewing of the race at TheBigWonderful’s Derby Weekend, but festive attire is encouraged, and there will be plenty of live music, festival shopping, food trucks and all the cocktails you can quaff at the dog- and kid-friendly event, going down at the Tech Center’s Belleview Station. The good times will roll on both Saturday and Sunday from noon to 8 p.m.

Follow the horses at Steuben's Arvada (seen here in pre-COVID times).EXPAND
Follow the horses at Steuben's Arvada (seen here in pre-COVID times).
Adam Larkey Photography

Steuben's
523 East 17th Avenue, 303-830-1001
7355 Ralston Road, 303-830-0096

Steuben’s Uptown will offer Elijah Craig mint juleps for $10 all day Saturday, while the Arvada location debuts the Brown Derby Cocktail: bourbon, honey syrup, grapefruit, also for ten bucks. Spritz Kits will be on hand for $40, and all specials at both locations are available for dine in and takeout.

Stoney's Bar & Grill
1111 Lincoln Street, 303-830-6839
1035 East 17th Avenue, 720-485-5503

Both the OG Lincoln Street location and the 17th Street Uptown joint of Stoney's Bar & Grill will open at 11 a.m. on Derby Day and run specials (including mint juleps and $25 White Claw buckets) until close. The race will be all over many of the sports spots' multiple TVs, and the best-dressed guests will go home with gift baskets.

Argonaut Wine & Liquor
760 East Colfax Avenue
303-831-7788

If you’d rather celebrate with just your pod, Argonaut has you covered. The shop's Woodford Reserve Derby Party Pack includes a liter of Kentucky’s Finest, Woodford’s special Mint Julep syrup and copper cups. A portion of the proceeds from each pack benefits the Sean “Ranch” Lough scholarship fund at CSU.

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