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Don your fanciest hat for these Kentucky Derby events around DC

The Kentucky Derby is this Saturday, May 4. You can watch coverage on NBC starting at 2:30, or in-person at any of these D.C.-area watch parties.

Lulu's Winegarden / Getty Images

This unusually warm weather makes a mint julep sound good, and it's the perfect weekend for it: The Kentucky Derby kicks off this Saturday. While D.C. will be cooler and more damp by the time we're off to the races, a little rain can't stop a celebration as big as the 150th Derby.

NBC’s live coverage of the Kentucky Derby begins at 2:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, but you can watch live Derby Day coverage on USA Network and Peacock from 12-2:20 p.m. ET. You can also stream Derby Day coverage on and the NBC Sports app. Get the full viewing guide here.

However, if you want an excuse to dress to the nines, break out an ostentatious hat, and sip some bourbon here in the District, here are some parties, rooftop events and more you can check out.

Where to Watch the Kentucky Derby in DC

Derby de Mayo
Sat., 12-3 p.m., 901 U Street NW, D.C.

D.C. landmark bar Whitlow's is hosting a 2-in-1 celebration for what just might be this year's biggest drinking holiday. The bar is hosting a bottomless brunch from noon to three, featuring Dragon Fruit margaritas, Jalapeno and Cucumber margaritas, and tequila Jell-O shots.

There will be a prize for the best Derby hat or sombrero, so no matter what direction you choose, commit to the 'fit!

Run for the Rosés
Sat., 3-7 p.m., 1940 11th Street NW, D.C.

If you're still riding the high of last summer's Barbie-pink shenanigans, Lulu's Winegarden has the perfect Derby party for you. Their annual "Run for the Rosés" comes with eight different rosé bottle options for just $40, rosé magnums and frozen mint juleps to enjoy during the indoor-and-outdoor viewing party.

There are also, of course, bourbon specials. The party itself is free, but you'll have to pay for food and drinks.

Kentucky Derby party
Sat., 3 p.m., 2007 18th St. NW, D.C.

This is the 12th annual Kentucky Derby event hosted by Jack Rose Dining Saloon in Adams Morgan. If you couldn't tell from how long the event has been running, it's a popular one -- and unfortunately, the reserved indoor seating is already sold out.

But never fear! The first-come, first-served rooftop terrace party is open to anyone, and that's free. The bar opens early at 3 p.m. to serve mint juleps with whiskey from what WTOP calls one of the best lists on the East Coast. Sip away and watch the races on their many TVs.

Derby Day at Wren
Sat., 4-7 p.m., 1825 Capital One Dr., Tysons, VA

Wren, a Japanese-American fusion restaurant on the 11th floor of the Watermark Hotel in Tyson's Corner, is hosting its very own Derby Day watch party on May 4.

The ticketed party will feature live music, specialty cocktails, hors d'oeuvres and of course the race itself. There will be prizes for the best hat and the best dressed.

Kentucky Derby Experience
Sat., 3-8 p.m., Maryland 5 in Waldorf, MD

The Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill is an equestrian event space -- so it's no wonder they're ready to party in honor of the Kentucky Derby. They promise an event filled with "excitement, elegance, and of course, horse racing," for everyone from the most season horse racing fan to those just looking for a fun day out.

150th Kentucky Derby Party
Sat., 12:30-6:30 p.m., Laurel Racetrack, MD

This ticketed event hosted by the Maryland Jockey Club features a "mouthwatering buffet spread," and a photo booth to capture your fancy outfits and hats.

The organization is sure to give the Derby gravitas, since they're the same organizers that sell tickets to the second race in the Triple Crown: The Preakness Stakes.

Other Derby-adjacent events

Happy to celebrate without the horses as long as you've got a mint julep in hand? Interested in Derby vibes but not necessarily attached to the one in Kentucky? We've got you covered.

Virginia Gold Cup & Jack Russell Terrier races
Sat., 10 a.m., 5089 Old Tavern Rd., The Plains, VA

The Virginia Gold Cup, which organizers call "Virginia's answer to the Kentucky Derby," has been running for more than 100 years. It comes with a tailgate contest and a horse race of its own.

A fan-favorite part of the ticketed event are the Jack Russell Terrier races, where dogs jump over obstacles to be the first to reach a lure at the end of the course.

Derby Day Pig Roast
Sat., 2-6 p.m., 917 V St. NW, D.C.

If you want a taste of the south, American Ice Company is hosting their annual Kentucky Derby Cookout, complete with roast pork, macaroni salad, baked beans and cornbread. There are two all-you-can-eat tiers -- one that includes all-you-can-drink beers, one with just the food -- and extra juleps and alcoholic lemonade for purchase.

There will also be live music on the patio, and dogs are encouraged.

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