Sombreros and Seersucker: Kentucky Derby and Cinco de Mayo Parties in Metro Phoenix
May 5: Big day this year. While Cinco de Mayo -- the yearly celebration of the Mexican army's unlikely victory over French forces in 1862 -- lands on the same date annually, only occasionally does it also match up with the Kentucky Derby, held the first Saturday in May. The combination of these two events means you have a lot of options in your Saturday bar-going. Here are our top choices for drinking this weekend, whether you're into sombreros or seersucker. (Or both.)
For the Kentucky Derby:
Run for the Roses Kentucky Derby Brunch -- Bourbon Steak
The restaurant at Fairmont Scottsdale Princess will celebrate the 138th Run for the Roses from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. with live blues by the Chuck Hall Band, games of horseshoes, bourbon tastings, and brunch complete with a complimentary mint julep, commemorative Kentucky Derby glasses, and a special "Seersucker Cocktail" -- made with bourbon, peach and mint -- created for the event. Inside, plasma screens will broadcast the race; outside, thoroughbreds rescued by the Arizona Equine Rescue Organization (AERO) will pose for photos. Entry to the brunch is $69 with a portion of the proceeds benefitting AERO's efforts.
Kentucky Derby Dandy Party -- Old Town Whiskey
No better place to indulge in the time-honored Derby Day tradition of bourbon-drinking than at this whiskey joint. The races start at noon, but there'll be plenty to distract from them -- cabaret ladies, $5 mint juleps, prizes for the best-dressed and a "betting" booth to win a one-night stay at the Saguaro.
Woodford Reserve Derby Party -- Talking Stick Resort
The "official bourbon of the Kentucky Derby," Woodford Reserve is the actual bourbon used in Mint Juleps at Churchill Downs, so you'll be getting an authentic experience at this party hosted by Woodford Reserve and Chambord at Talking Stick Resort (9800 E. Indian Bend, Scottsdale). Show up in your best Derby attire, as prizes will be awarded for biggest hat, best men's and women's hats, and best derby-inspired clothing. RSVP here.