Jockeys on racehorses racing against a blurred background.

Welcome to Showcase’s guide to Kentucky Derby watching parties in Ocala, Florida, the Horse Capital of the World®. As Ocala’s leading real estate experts, we’re excited to share with you the best local events where you can catch all the Derby action. With several of the competing horses having ties to our area, the Kentucky Derby is always a highly anticipated event in Ocala. Don’t forget to check out our exclusive Mint Julep recipe, perfect for sipping while you watch the races. Get ready to experience the excitement and elegance of the Derby in our vibrant community.

2024 – Kentucky Derby FREE Watch Party at  WEC

Starting after 5pm, watch the 150th Kentucky Derby at this FREE viewing in the Grand Outdoor Arena. Catch the action on the Jumbotrons at World Equestrian Center while you’re dressed in your finest derby attire!

2024 – Kentucky Derby Hat Party at WEC

Saturday, May 4, watch the 150th “Run for the Roses” at World Equestrian Center during the Kentucky Derby Hat Party on The Equestrian Hotel terrace from 5pm to 7:30pm.

Kentucky Derby Soiree at Black Prong 

Dress in your Kentucky Derby finest for the 150th Run for the Roses! Join host Black Prong for an afternoon of Woodford mint juleps, chance to win games, and race day fun. May 4th 4-8pm.

The Kentucky Derby at Stone Creek Golf Club

Saturday, May 4, watch the derby and enjoy delicious southern favorites like fried green tomatoes, Kentucky Hot Brown Sliders, and mint juleps!

Kentucky Derby Party in Homosassa

Get ready to saddle up for a day of Southern charm and Derby excitement at Florida Cracker Riverside Resort’s First Annual Kentucky Derby Party on May 4th, Homosassa! Event begins at 3:00 pm!

Festival of Speed – Kentucky Derby Edition

Join Festival of Speed as they Celebrate the 150th Running of The Kentucky Derby at the Beautiful World Equestrian Center in Ocala, FL enjoy a fabulous display of show cars from around the world and their signature mint julep.

If you’re unable to attend a nearby watch party, worry not! We’ve got you covered with a delightfully simple Mint Julep recipe that will transport you to the heart of the race, right from the comfort of your own home!

Iconic Mint Julep Cocktail

Elevate your Kentucky Derby watching experience with this classic Mint Julep recipe, capturing the timeless essence of Southern charm and equestrian elegance! 

2.5 oz bourbon
4 to 5 fresh mint sprigs, leaves only, plus sprigs for garnish
2 sugar cubes, or 1/2 oz simple syrup

Step 1: Place 4 to 5 fresh min sprig leaves and 2 sugar cubes into a julep cup, collins glass, or double old-fashioned glass. Muddle well to dissolve the sugar and release the oil and aroma of the mint. 

Step 2: Add 2.5 ounces of bourbon whiskey. Fill the glass with crushed ice and stir well until the glass becomes frosty.

Step 3: Garnish with a fresh mint sprig and serve! 

A deliciously cold mint julep in a silver cup.