Derby party at The Westin aims to help kids learn about horses |

Derby party at The Westin aims to help kids learn about horses

Students from the Children's Garden of Learning in Vail have been designing Derby hats this week, and made this poster in anticipation of the 143rd Running of the Roses.


Avon Derby party

Maya in the Westin Riverfront Hotel

126 Riverfront Lane

3 to 6 p.m.

$60 in advance, $75 at the door" target="_blank">Text">

Vail Derby party

10th Mountain Whiskey tasting room

227 Bridge Street

1 to 5 p.m.


AVON — During the Kentucky Derby, the only thing better than a mint julep is a tax-deductible mint julep.

Stop by the Maya at the Westin Riverfront Hotel Saturday at 3 p.m. for a Kentucky Derby party that will also teach kids about horses and help families keep the cost down on day care at the non-profit Children’s Garden of Learning in Vail.

For the Children’s Garden, Kentucky Derby week has helped pre-schoolers add new meaning to a phrase they often hear, “ride horsey,” said Maggie Swonger, Director of Operations.

“All week the kids have been talking about hats and horses,” Swonger said on Friday. “We had a parent volunteer come in and make Derby hats and a horse racing poster with the kids, and today they’re painting horse shoes.”

The Children’s Garden of Learning will try to use the proceeds to expose the kids to the local Mountain Valley Horse Rescue, where abused, neglected, abandoned or unwanted horses are rescued, rehabilitated and put into homes. In addition to the crossover with Mountain Valley Horse Rescue, the proceeds from Saturday’s party at Maya will help offset the cost of early learning experiences for families through the pre-school’s financial aid program.

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“It will also support teacher wages and professional development,” Swonger said.

In addition to the silent auction, there will be live music by the River Front Ramblers, a betting board and other games. Tickets are $60 in advance at or $75 at the door, and entry will include a couple of drink tickets.

A portion of all purchases made at the Maya Derby party, including drinks and silent auction items, are tax deductible. Beer was donated by the Vail Brewing Company, wine was donated by Avon liquor and the spirits will come from Vail’s first premier distillery, 10th Mountain Whiskey & Spirit Company.

“They will be using our bourbon in their mint juleps,” said Samantha Perkins with 10th Mountain Whiskey.

At their tasting room, located at 227 Bridge Street in Vail Village, the 10th Mountain Whiskey & Spirit Company will also host a Kentucky Derby party on Saturday, starting at 1 p.m. For $35, you’ll get a pewter cup filled with a mint julep and food from a southern style barbecue. There will also be a raffle. That party is set to run until 5 p.m. The Maya party will run until 6 p.m.

At both events, make sure you dress to impress.

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