10 Ways to Celebrate the Kentucky Derby and Cinco de Mayo

IMG_3022The weather has been phenomenal in San Francisco lately, so I took the past couple of days off. However, I couldn’t let a weekend with two amazing American celebrations go undiscussed. Tomorrow is the Kentucky Derby and Sunday is Cinco de Mayo — both are excellent reasons to grab some friends and do something fabulous. Here are my ideas:

IMG_7078For the Kentucky Derby:
1. Dress up in your derby day finest (hats, pastels, seersucker, white eyelet.) and head to your favorite Southern restaurant for brunch.

2. Drink a mint julep. Woodford Reserve is the official whiskey of the derby.

3. Bet on a horse. Scream your horse’s name for the two minute race. Celebrate if you win, cruse if you loose. Either way, have another mint julep.

4. Invite people over for a Kentucky Derby party. Decorate with flowers arranged in mint julep glasses. Roses are the official flower and the winning horse is always draped with a garland of red roses. Set up a bloody Mary bar and serve pimento cheese grilled cheese sandwiches, deviled eggs, and ham chips.

5. Watch the race. This one is a no brainer, you can’t celebrate the Kentucky Derby without the Kentucky Derby. Turn on the TV around 2:45 to catch pre-game information. The race starts a little after 3:00 PM (West coast time).

IMG_2863For Cinco de Mayo:
6. Dress up in your Mexican finest (bright colors, peasant tops, ruffled skirts, etc.) and head to your favorite taco restaurant for lunch.

7. Drink a margarita. Or a paloma. Or a diablo. Any tequila cocktail will do. Actually, micheladas are a fine idea, too.

8. Go salsa dancing. Or have a reggaeton dance party at home!

9. Practice speaking Spanish. Study a few new vocabulary words, watch an episode of a telenovela, or listen to one of my favorite Spanish language musicians: Paulina Rubio, Juanes, Julieta Venegas, or Fito.

10. Enjoy a Mexican feast! Tacos, nachos, enchiladas, rice and beans, guacamole, salsa, chilaquiles, black bean dip, fajitas, burritos, tortilla soup — you get the idea. Decorate with bright colors. I love turquoise and orange for a Latin-inspired fiesta.

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