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Kentucky Derby Canterbury Park

Celebrate the Kentucky Derby in Style at Canterbury Park

When it comes to the Kentucky Derby, Canterbury Park is the place to experience the pageantry, excitement and style that accompany the biggest horse race of the year.

The 2018 Kentucky Derby is set for Saturday, May 5, and you can take in live horse racing at Canterbury Park, along with fun Derby Day events and activities.

Derby Day at Canterbury

Live Racing at Canterbury Park.The first horse race at Canterbury Park is set for 12:45 p.m., with grandstand gates opening at 10:30 a.m.

But the thrills of live racing is only part of the fun!

Derby Day at Canterbury Park features:

  • Live music from Boogie Wonderland
  • Derby hat contest presented by Kwik Trip
  • Red carpet selfie station presented by Kwik Trip
  • Free face painting and pony rides
  • Broadcast of the Run for the Roses on the infield Jumbotron and building-wide at about 5:45 p.m.
  • Derby hat sales on Level 2


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“The energy and excitement on Derby Day at Canterbury Park is indescribable,” said John Groen, VP of Marketing at Canterbury Park. “There will be all sorts of Derby Day activities and great racing. Plus, watching the Kentucky Derby with thousands of other fans is a one-of-a-kind experience.”

Serious horseplayers and casual fans alike come from all over to Canterbury Park for the Kentucky Derby. Fans can grab a Mint Julep or our new Canterbury beer, Badger Hill’s Post Time Peach Ale, and engage in some first-class people watching.

Infographic: Kentucky Derby Style Guide

“We like say ‘Derby attire admired, not required.’ But it really is fun to see how people dress up,” Groen said. “You don’t need to dress up to feel comfortable here, but part of the allure of the Kentucky Derby is seeing everyone in unique hats and fun bowties.”

Derby Style

If you do choose to dress with a bit of flair, there are plenty of things to consider. Let’s start with the obvious: your Derby hat.


No Kentucky Derby outfit would be complete without an eye-catching hat.

It’s the most important (and fun) part of your ensemble, and you can get as big and wild as you want. Flowers, feathers, funny… it’s all about expressing your creativity and individuality.

One trend that is expected to gain traction at Kentucky Derby events is the fascinator hat, made popular of late by Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge. The fascinator is certainly a more understated look, but still a great option to top off your outfit.

And for the fellas, a classic fedora is always appropriate, but you can try a boater, derby or cowboy hat, as well.

Derby Dress

Once you’ve got your hat set, it’s time to choose a dress.

To better accentuate your hat, some say the dress you wear should be a bit more subtle. But you can still add a splash of spring color, and consider a versatile dress to cope with early May weather.

Also, it’s generally recommended that you keep your look closer to business-casual than formal.

Shoes and Accessories

You will be spending plenty of time on your feet checking out the events and excitement, so when it comes to shoes, be sure to wear something comfortable that compliments your outfit.

Also, a cute purse can be the perfect accent to your Derby outfit. Consider something easy to carry but with enough room for your essentials.

Style Guys

Gentlemen, we didn’t forget about you.

Kentucky Derby style for guys is generally highlighted by bold, bright colors and patterns, and a Southern flair. Don’t be afraid to go for a more daring outfit: try a slick vest, seersucker suit or funky fedora.

Bowties are often a nice touch, as well. And don’t forget to rock some unique socks!

mint_julepSignature Derby Drink

Lastly, you’re probably going to want to enjoy a beverage while you’re at Canterbury Park on Derby Day.

The is the drink of the Kentucky Derby. Our favorite recipe features Jim Beam, sugar, cracked ice and a few sprigs of fresh mint. Stir until the glass is frosted.

Coming to Canterbury for the Derby

Whether you want to come out and enjoy the scene or get into some serious betting, Canterbury Park offers up the biggest Kentucky Derby party in Minnesota.

Visit our website for more information about exploring the track, wagering and making the most of your Kentucky Derby experience this year.

Come Play!