5 Spots to Celebrate (and catch) the Kentucky Derby

Mint juleps or margaritas? Huge Kentucky Derby hat or sombrero?

This year, you can do both and dress however you’d like with the Kentucky Derby conveniently sharing the same day with Cinco De Mayo.

Although the big race is only two minutes long, some restaurants and bars will celebrate the Kentucky Derby all weekend long while involving Cinco De Mayo as well.

BlackRock Brewers

1664 S. Research Loop, Suite #200

Come celebrate Cinco de Mayo & the Kentucky Derby from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 5.

They’ll be showing the entire race card, and wearing a festive sombrero is highly encouraged.

For more information, visit BlackRock Brewers’ Facebook Event Page.

Brother John’s Beer, Bourbon & BBQ

1801 N. Stone Ave.

Cheer for your favorite horse during the Kentucky Derby at Brother John’s Beer, Bourbon & BBQ from 12:30 – 8 p.m. on Saturday, May 5.

For $20 per person, you’ll get food samples and whiskey tastings from Woodford Distillery, Old Forester Whiskey, and Jack Daniels from 12:30 – 3 p.m.

If you’d like a Kentucky Derby-inspired Dinner with your whiskey tastings, it’s $45 per person.

From 3:30 – 8 p.m., there’s a Taco Patio Party and Cinco De Mayo happy hour featuring $3 Corona and $2.50 tacos.

Tucson Jazz Society will be provided the music through the evening, alongside a Best Hat Contest, mint juleps, food samples, and other prizes.

For more information and to purchase your tickets, visit brotherjohnsbbq.com.

Playground Bar & Lounge

278 E. Congress St.

Playground Bar & Lounge is going all out this year, and celebrating the Kentucky Derby and Cinco De Mayo all weekend long. Check out their schedule to join in on the fun involving horses, tacos, tequila, and mint juleps.

  • 6 – 9 p.m. on Friday, May 4
    • Free, live music from Santa Panchita on the rooftop
  • 1 – 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 5
    • Mint Julips & Big Hats Kentucky Derby Viewing Party
    • Bring your biggest and best hat for a chance to win prizes
    • Woodford Reserve mint juleps and shots
  • 6 – 9 p.m. on Saturday, May 5
    • Cinco de Mayo Party and live music from Manteca on the rooftop
    • Full menu will be available, plus a special Mexican food-themed menu with margaritas, cervezas, and tequila specials all day
  • 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 6
    • “Trumpets & Tequila Sunday Brunch”
    • Live music from Mariachi Luz de Luna
    • Special brunch menu including Mexican food-themed menu
    • Reservations can be made at playgroundtucson.com

For more information, visit playgroundtucson.com.

Rillito Park Race Track

4502 N. 1st Ave.

Rillito Park Race Track is celebrating the 144th Running of the Kentucky Derby from 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. on Saturday, May 5.

Betting on the horses begins at 8 a.m. and the main festivities, which include a southern-style buffet, mint juleps, bourbon flights, and more, begin at 11 a.m.

For more information, call (520) 745-5486 or visit rillitoracetrack.com.

Zona 78

7301 E. Tanque Verde

Zona 78 is throwing a Kentucky Derby Party from 2 – 6 p.m. on Saturday, May 5.

Special menu items include:

  • Smoked Salmon Deviled Eggs
  • Bourbon Pulled pork Sliders
  • Bourbon Smoked Wings
  • Kentucky Derby Bouborn Pecan Pie Shake

You’ll have the opportunity to draw a horses name at 3:30 p.m., and if you win you’ll be given a free dinner. Also, wear your craziest, Kentucky Derby-styled hat because the best hat wins a $50 gift card.

For more information and to make your reservations, call (520) 296-7878 or visit Zona 78’s Facebook Event Page.

At a very young age, Matt was gifted with the artistic ability to masterfully roll a burrito to the highest of standards.