Horse races, mint juleps, and exquisite hats all embrace the nature of the Kentucky Derby. This year, I finally made it to my very FIRST Kentucky Derby party hosted by West Laurel Hill Cemetery. Now, don’t frown your face when you hear “Cemetery”, I’ll have you know that West Laurel Hill is one of the most picturesque and historic landscapes in Bala Cynwyd.
**FYI: If you’re interested in the history of West Laurel Hill Cemetery, I’ll add a link here so you can get the details. This entire post is going to be dedicated to my time at the Kentucky Derby Party. **
On May 6th, I arrived to West Laurel Hill Cemetery to attend their 5th annual Kentucky Derby Party. Since the event was being held in a place that was full of history, I wanted to wear a piece of my family’s history. My outfit choice consisted of a black lace dress, silver strappy sandals ( that were the death of me) and a matching silver lace hat. The hat that I chose to wear belonged to my beloved great grandmother, Grandma Eddie, who recently passed in 2015 at the age of 95. My great grandmother was a jazzy lady who loved her hats, so I thought it would be fun to bring some sass to the party with her metallic hat!
Photo Credit : Dean Hirst
Once I entered the lodge where the event was taking place, I was greeted with a glass of champagne and an amazing spread of food that had every type of southern dish you could think of! Fried Chicken sliders, cheese grits, and deviled eggs where just a few of the items that graced the buffet line and I was sure to get a small taste of each. Soon after I snacked, I was greeted by a hostess that led me to my first ever, horse and carriage ride! Please note that I’ve never ridden a horse or rode in a carriage before, so this experience was one for the books. I’m kind of kicking myself for not taking photos while I was in the carriage but I’ll use that as an incentive to head back next year.
Next up, was my fashion illustration with Denise Fike, which was a pretty challenging activity. For the illustration, I had to be perfectly still, in the silver shoes that were killing me, for 10 WHOLE minutes. Once I saw the picture, all of that foot pain went out of the window and I knew that my hard work wasn’t in vain.
Finally, the main event happened – the horse races. Everyone gathered into the main room to watch the exciting race on a few of the big screen televisions. Once the races where over, the party slowly began to die down. For the few people that were left behind, there was a spontaneous dance party! There were only about….4 people who decided to dance for this impromptu party but it was so much fun to watch.
I had such a fun time at the West Laurel Hill Kentucky Derby! It was the perfect party to welcome the warm spring weather. I’m looking forward to attending next year’s event.
Hey, I'm Njeri!
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