How is it that I've just now realized that I never actually blogged about the Derby party last year?! Oops... Anyhoo, this year's was great!
I prayed and prayed for good weather, and boy did I get it! In fact, it was so warm that I sent Mom and Hubby out an hour before the party to buy an umbrella for the porch!
I learned a lot from last year's party and made things so much easier for myself this year!
Last year I thought I'd be cute and accommodating to a variety of tastes by putting out ingredients for a few drinks along with recipes as horse blankets for decoration:
I also kept the bar clear and pretty by putting the beer in a cooler out on the porch. The result was that I spent about 90% of the party directing people to the beer and mixing drinks. When I pointed out the bar and the many options people would choose one and say, "Oh that sounds good, could you make me one of those?" Not the best way to spend a party! So this year :
Beer went in a bucket right on the bar, and I premixed a HUGE batch of mint juleps and put it in a help-yourself dispenser in the sunroom! (Which I actually forgot to take a picture of, but it was this one.)
It was great! Except for the part where people got a little sloppy and spilled the super-sugary drinks all over my newly painted floor! Oh well, I'd rather spend a few hours mopping later on for the opportunity to enjoy my own party!
The other thing I did to make it easier on myself was to order in KFC as the main dish. All the appetizers, side dishes and dessert were home-made, but fried chicken for 20-30 people would have been WAY too much work! And you know what? People LOVED it! I don't know if everyone was just a little more tipsy than usual from the easy access to the alcohol, but there were actual shouts of , "Aww, yeah KFC!" Perfect!
In fact, the dinner table was ravaged so quickly that I didn't get a picture! But weren't the appetizers pretty?
Everyone who came got into the spirit with pretty dresses and some great hats!
Last year's winner of the hat contest reworked her hat in a gift-wrap theme for this year.
Hat and snacks all in one!
The babies all looked adorable, though none were too fond of wearing their hats!
But they were fond of each other, which was pretty darn cute!
This hat had a surprise in the back:
And here's me:
Since I can't win my own contest I just bought one. Hey, I had enough work getting the house ready! It came from Dahlia World on ebay.
This year's hat contest winner, by a long shot, was this home-made masterpiece of feathers, pearls, stones, flowers and ribbons:
Which you can see much better here:
Pretty incredible, huh?
All in all people seemed to have a pretty good time.
The stairs and bridge got used.
Even the babies had fun!
Well, most of the babies...
Though one of my personal favorite moments was when someone pointed out that Hubby and a friend of his were hanging out on the porch of our shed, which we have affectionately dubbed "the Dollhouse":
Why? I still have no idea! It was pretty funny, though. And really, what's a party without a few moments of crazy?
I can't wait for next year's!