If heading to Churchill Downs in Louisville this weekend for the 145th Kentucky Derby this Saturday is out of the question, don’t fret — you can still celebrate America’s greatest race right here at in South Jersey. Though the famous Twin Spires won’t be available for your viewing pleasure, plenty of other Derby traditions — think hats and mint juleps — will be readily available.
1. Josie Kelly’s
Head to Josie Kelly’s at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday for a Kentucky Derby watch party with a traditional Derby-inspired menu featuring mint juleps, pimento cheese dip, and fried chicken. Don’t forget your hat — there are cash prizes for best-dressed male and female patrons. Located at 908 Shore Road in Somers Point. JosieKellys.com.
2. Chickie’s & Pete’s (EHT)
Catch the race at Chickie’s & Pete’s in Egg Harbor Township. The party starts at 3 p.m. and includes activities and specials like $7 Bulleit Bourbon drinks like mint juleps; $7 Tito’s vodka drinks such as American mules; specialty brews by Ludlam Island Brewery, live music by Glenn Roberts Music, and a 20-foot TV truck. Located at 6055 Black Horse Pike in Egg Harbor Township. Go to ChickiesandPetes.com.
3. JD’s Pub
Join the Shore Riders Pony Club for a Kentucky Derby party at JD’s Pub at 5 p.m. Saturday. With the Derby on the big screen, a hat contest, mint juleps, trivia, and a beef and beer, this Kentucky-themed shindig has it all. FInd at 45 S. New York Road, Galloway. Go to JDsPubSmithville.com.
4. Ventura’s Greenhouse
If it’s prizes you’re after, head to Ventura’s Greenhouse at 6 p.m. for a Kentucky Derby hat party with prizes for first, second and third place winners. All-day drink specials include ginger beer and Moscow mules. Located at 106 S. Benson Ave., Margate. VenturasGreenhouse.com.
5. The Princeton
Celebrate the greatest two minutes in sports at 5 p.m. Saturday at The Princeton. Wear your fanciest hat and get there early for good seats and prizes for first, second and third place winners. Find at 2008 Dune Drive in Avalon. PrincetonBar.com.
6. Elaine’s Get to Elaine’s at 4 p.m. for their famous Kentucky Derby party in the parking lot. It will feature a buffet, cash bar and live music, as well as a best hat contest and specials on mint juleps and more. So grab your themed attire and prepare to cheer on your favorite horse. Located at 513 Lafayette St. in Cape May. Go to ElainesCapeMay.com.
7. The Ebbitt Room
If you chose The Ebbitt Room at the Virginia Hotel, be sure wear your best bow tie and extravagant hat to celebrate the Run for the Roses at 5 p.m. on Saturday. And, if you guess the winning horse and their winning time, win a $100 Virginia Hotel gift card. 25 Jackson St. in Cape May. Go to CapeResorts.com.
8. The Reeds at Shelter Haven
To watch the classic competition in a fun and swanky locale, don your Derby hat and head to Sax Lounge at The Reeds at Shelter Haven at 3 p.m. Enjoy $10 mint julep & Pimm’s cup specials and of course, the race itself. 9601 Third Ave. in Stone Harbor. ReedsAtShelterHaven.com.
9. Renault Winery
The new owners at Renault are throwing a Kentucky Derby Party complete with traditional Derby classics from 4 to 8 p.m. Saturday. Guests can enjoy things like spicy pimento deviled eggs with mixed greens and a Derby burger with bourbon-glazed onions, candied bacon and smoked cheddar as well as mint juleps and clubhouse specials (mint, vodka and lemonade). Don’t forget your Derby hat! Located at 72 N. Bremen Ave. in Egg Harbor City. Go to RenaultWinery.com.
10. Ocean Casino Resort
Watch the race at Ocean’s world class William-Hill Sportsbook. Then at 7:30 p.m. patrons are encouraged to throw on their swankiest duds and most stylish hats for the hat contest at the sports bar. First place wins $500 in free slot play, second place gets a $250 Macy’s gift card and third place gets $100 in cash. Located at 500 Boardwalk in Atlantic City. Go to TheOceanAC.com.
11. Maynard’s Maynard’s is hosting a raucous “Talk Derby To Me” party with a hat contest, photo booth and $5 Southern Tier Bourbon Smash cocktails. Located at 9306 Amherst Ave. in Margate. Go to the Maynards-Cafe.com.