Vail Derby Party helps kids, celebrates the Kentucky Derby |

Vail Derby Party helps kids, celebrates the Kentucky Derby

Vail Derby Party attendees review the Betting Board at the second annual Vail Derby Party held in 2014. This year's event will be held at Balata Restaurant in the Sonnenalp Golf Club in Edwards on May 2.
Doug Treiber Photography | Special to the Daily |

If you go ...

What: The Vail Derby Party.

Where: Balata Restaurant in Singletree in Edwards.

When: 3 to 6 p.m., May 2.

Cost: $65 if purchased before the event, or $75 at the door.

More information: Visit

EDWARDS — The Vail Derby Party will return to Eagle County to celebrate the 141st Running of the Roses for a third year, watching the Kentucky Derby, what some have called the “most exciting two minutes in sports.” The event will be held from 3 to 6 p.m. on May 2 at The Sonnenalp Club and Balata in Edwards.

“This is one of the most exciting events in Vail’s spring offseason,” said Dana Addis, who is in charge of this year’s event. “This is the largest Derby event on the Western Slope, with over 200 people attending last year. We’ve brought the event to a great indoor-outdoor location that takes advantage of fantastic views.”

Tickets are $65 if purchased before the event or $75 at the door and include a Southern feast, drinks, lawn games, contests, live music from Denver-based band Bear Antler, a betting board, a silent auction and more. There will also be a 10th Mountain Whiskey & Spirit Company bourbon bar, and Vail Brewing Company will provide beer.


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The Vail Derby Party will benefit The Learning Initiative, a nonprofit pre-school education outreach program developed by Children’s Garden of Learning. This serves home-based day care providers with needed tools and training to improve their services. Some of the silent auction items include things such as a four-night stay in Cabo San Lucas from Exclusive Resorts, an overnight kids party at the Tennessee Pass Cookhouse and Yurts, a week of dinners by a private chef, a Vail Dance Festival ticket package, kids camps and more.


Attendees are encouraged to dress the part, with cash and prizes for best hat, best dressed (men and women), most creative hat and the betting board winner. Thankfully, three local stores are generously donating a portion of their proceeds through helping attendees with dressing for success at the Vail Derby Party.

Today, Valley Girl Boutique in The Riverwalk at Edwards will help attendees who would like assistance with their attire. The store will donate 20 percent of their proceeds from any sale from store patrons who mention Children’s Garden of Learning at the time of purchase.

Blitz Boutique will donate 20 percent of all purchases between now and May 2 if you mention Children’s Garden of Learning. They are featuring Derby hats as well as appropriate attire for men and women.

The event would not be complete without a shopping party at Perch. Owner Laurie O’Connell will host a pre-Vail Derby Party event on Thursday from 4 to 7 p.m., complete with champagne. A portion of the proceeds from all sales will be donated to the event.

The third annual Vail Derby party is expected to expand to approximately 250 attendees. Many tickets have already pre-sold, so people are encouraged to purchase tickets soon. Tickets are available online until event capacity is met at

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