This Saturday marks the return of the longest running sporting event in United States history – the Kentucky Derby. The race, dubbed “the most exciting two minutes in sports,” dates back to 1875 and hasn’t missed a year since, surviving the Great Depression, both World Wars, and more recently, the pandemic in 2020.
Considering the Kentucky Derby is known as a celebration of southern culture in the United States, Maine isn’t the biggest celebrator of the horse race, but we like any excuse to drink mint juleps and wear a big goofy hat, so we sought out the best places to be this Saturday.
What’s your favorite way to celebrate the Kentucky Derby? Head to our Facebook and Instagram pages and let us know! Did we miss an event? Email [email protected] and let us know.
Butcher Burger: If mint juleps just ain’t your thing, head on over to Butcher Burger, where they’ll be continuing their Margarita specials from Cinco de Mayo while showing the most exciting two minutes in sports on their TVs. $7 for classic margaritas, or $8 for flavored (excluding their Spicy Margarita).
Dock Fore: Get pints of Rolling Rock or Bud for only $1.95 from 3-7PM, compete in contests and win a prize for Best Hat. The party goes from noon until midnight! Stop by the day before for over 30 years worth of Kentucky Derby posters by various artists as a part of Portland’s First Friday Art Walk.
Fleet Fleet Maine Running: Let the horses have a breather, and do the running yourself with the Dash for the Derby 5K, starting at Fleet Fleet Maine Running shoe store. Registration is $35, and closes at 11:59PM on May 6th, or you can register at the race for $39. Proceeds benefit A Running Passion & the Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland.
Liquid Riot Bottling Company: Enjoy a fernet mint julep on their deck, for a spin on the classic Kentucky Derby staple. Then, head inside promptly at 6:57PM and catch the race on their projector.
Luna Rooftop Bar: Come watch the race on the big screen while enjoying some delicious bites and drinks from atop the Canopy Portland Waterfront hotel. Start planning your attire now. They’ll be giving away a $50 gift card to Luna and Salt Yard Bar + Cafe to the Best Dressed. They open at noon on Saturday.
The Portland Club: Join the Portland Club for their annual Kentucky Derby Party starting at 5:00PM. They’ll have food, drinks, and new this year – a best hat contest! The races will be playing on their 100” projector, as well as all the other TVs in the club. Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door for those 21 and over. Under 21 get in for $10, and Portland Club members get in at no charge. Get your tickets on the Portland Club website.
Stroudwater Distillery: Start your day early at 11:00AM with traditional southern food, specialty cocktails and Derby Day festivities happening all throughout the day. They’ll have live acoustic country music by Das Wὅlf from 1:00PM – 4:00PM, and plenty more festivities leading up to the until the race at 6:57PM.