Once upon a time a family in Maryland enjoyed hosting Preakness parties. (The Preakness is the 2nd race in the triple crown, held in Baltimore, MD) The eldest daughter grew up and moved away and enjoyed hosting parties too. When she moved to a far away land she found a roommate who was far away from her home town of Louisville, KY where the Kentucky Derby is held.
The two women decided it would be fun to host a Run for the Races (name for the KY Derby) and had a grand time doing so and had much success with this party. There are related stories that include a finance, fresh whipped cream but that is for another day....
When the eldest daughter moved to Michigan she started small and hosted a few friends for appetizers to watch the race in her apartment. The next year she was living with a roommate that owned a horse and liked the idea of a Derby party and once again a good time was held on the 1st Saturday in May. A few years later the hostess moved to Kentucky and she decided this would be the year she would attend the actual Derby!
A wonderful time was had- dressing up, drinking real juleps from the commerative glass, experiencing The Churchill Downs, and even winning the wager based on the name- Silver Charm! However it was cool, wet and horses were hard to see let alone an actual race. General Admission tickets only get you so far....The young woman decided she liked her party better and would go to Keenland in Oct and April for the live racing experience!! Because she wanted to keep the party tradition going the daughter hosted a triple crown party since Silver Charm was a contender! This happened to be the weekend after a very special date to the Memorial Golf Tournament with a classmate from Denison.
The Triple Crown party was a great success and much fun to plan and execute. Flags from all 3 states that hold a triple crown race were aquired and used for decoration. And as usual guests (including family!) were introduced and connections were made. It was a special 2nd date for the the two Denisonians and the party was the launch of special relationship.
The next year the young (still in her 20s) woman went to Columbus to visit her boyfriend. She made apppetizers and mint juleps for her boyfriend, his roommate and friends while they watched the race and it was declared a party. By the next year the couple was married and hosted the first Leithauser Kentucky DErby party complete with late night bocci and a pizza run! The party evolved as children were added with pack n plays. And then the couple moved to Granville and the party took on a different feel with pony rides, play yards, live music and a tent on Newark-Granville Road.
The party continued to grown and the host couple enjoyed the opporuntity to entertain their friends and their families-watching connections happen across relationships. The party inspire house projects and spring-summer preration. A fun twist was added when children were delivered to grandparents so parents could prepare. One year three children were taken to Maryland and the car returned with two Yuengling kegs instead. The children did return to attend the party with their grandparents!!
The past parties have been successful thanks to the support of family and friends lending their time and talent in a vareity of ways. The attendance is always appreciated and is the heart of the party's purpose. Surprise visitors, wedding party members with their own julep cups and family make for extra special attendees!
In 2011 the not so young woman, although not middle aged, woman took a trip to a far away land- China. The trip was swaped for the big party. Although note mint juleps were enjoyed with a handful of friends (the evening included a trip to the emergency room). This year the party returns. No pony or carriage rides are planned, but we do look forward to live music, festive beverages and the opportunity to catch up with good friends- please join us on the first Saturday in May to add to a happy life on Newark-Granville Road.