This Saturday, May 4, the 150th Kentucky Derby is taking place, and if you thought you need to be at Churchill Downs to experience the fullest extent of sesquicentennial celebrations, think again — here are a few opportunities to ring in “The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports” (the Derby’s words — trademarked, in fact — not mine) locally. The race itself starts at 6:57 p.m., and keep in mind that given the exceptionally speedy runtime, showing up fashionably late (no matter how fashionable) is actually not encouraged.

Pete’s Candy Store

3:30 p.m. until the last horse crosses the finish line

This Derby Day, Pete’s (709 Lorimer St.) is throwing their annual bash and pie contest and making it extra special for the milestone occasion. The party will also feature a pop-up of Latin-BBQ fusion from HUMOS NY, competition for best hat, good-natured wagering contests (losers will become winners!), and beyond.

Pie contest hopefuls can sign up here for the chance to bake their best 9″ pie of any denomination (from sweet to savory) and possibly win $150 cash and/or a bar tab.

Moonlight Mile

3 p.m. to 12 midnight


The Moonlight Mile (200 Franklin St.) is another local haunt with a Derby tradition. Founded by Louisville, KY, natives Garry and Becky Embry, the bar knows a thing or two about what makes a great Derby bash, including mint juleps, whiskey smashes, elaborate hats, and a party that continues long after the race is over. Seating is first come, first served, so try to get there early enough that you can still see over the headgear.

BK Backyard Bar

11:30 a.m. to 2 a.m.

True to the pastures where the day’s competitors were raised, you too can spend your Derby surrounded by grass (well, turf) at BK Backyard Bar (86 N 11th St.). As with all good Derby parties, festive attire is encouraged, and the bar will also feature specialty cocktails from Maker’s Mark, Montauk Brewing, and more. Tables can be reserved in advance to ensure you don’t miss a second of the 120-second race.

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