When you go to a Kentucky Derby party, you're really not going to watch the ponies. In the last two decades, the two slowest races finished in two minutes and just over four seconds. The first Saturday in May is about dressing up in your finest attire and attending a party in order to sip mint juleps and snack for hours on end. There are many ways to do so in Washington. Here are some of the best Derby Day events on May 7.

Tickets required

ChurchKey
3 to 7 p.m. 1337 14th St. NW. churchkeydc.com. $65-$75.
Beer isn't really associated with the Kentucky Derby, which is why ChurchKey hasn't thrown a Derby party before. But this year, the city's best-known beer bar is finally doing it. In addition to live bluegrass music by Tim and Savannah Finch and the Eastman String Band, there will be themed beers on tap: Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout; a brand new barrel-aged collaboration between Bluejacket and Lexington, Kentucky's Country Boy Brewing; and a selection of drafts from Louisville's Against the Grain brewing. (You'll also be able to get mint juleps, as well as special Southern snacks.) Prizes will be awarded to the best-dressed man and woman. Admission, which includes food and four drink tickets, is $65 in advance and $75 at the door.

Little Miss Whiskey's
3 to 8 p.m. 1104 H St. NE. Ticket link. $48.
Chef Ryan Gordon of the Queen Vic is preparing an all-you-can-eat pig roast on Little Miss Whiskey's back patio on Derby Day. Apple and Bulleit-bourbon-injected whole pigs, house-made sausage and bourbon- and peach-glazed ribs are paired with pimento mac and cheese, bacon-and-bourbon baked beans, and jalapeno cheesy grits, plus unlimited beers from three Anderson Valley kegs. All of this is included in the $48 ticket, but mint juleps cost extra.

Town Tavern
3 to 7 p.m. 2323 18th St. NW. towntaverndc.com. $20.
The Adams Morgan bar's party includes mint juleps and other cocktails, and a buffet of Kentucky Derby-inspired food. Prizes will be awarded for the best hat and the best outfit. Tickets include food and one drink ticket.

Willard InterContinental Hotel's Bonnets and Bow-Ties
4 to 7 p.m. 1401 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. washington.intercontinental.com.
The classiest Kentucky Derby viewing party in Washington is also the priciest. The Round Robin Bar's annual soiree draws an older crowd – the $99 ticket will do that – for Makers Mark mint juleps, a Southern buffet, an open beer and wine bar, and table games like blackjack and roulette. Prizes are awarded in the "Best Derby Bonnet" contest. Reservations can be made by calling 202-942-7000.

Free admission

Acadiana
901 New York Ave. NW. acadianarestaurant.com.
Acadiana will have deals during all three legs of the Triple Crown, beginning with the Kentucky Derby. Each raceday features $5 food and drink specials identified with that particular event: For the Derby, it's mint juleps and a choice of hot browns, burgoo stew and Derby pie. Gift certificates will be awarded for the best hat and bow tie, and Acadiana offers rewards to anyone who watches the Derby, the Preakness and the Belmont Stakes in the lounge.

The Brixton
4 to 7 p.m. 901 U St. NW. brixtondc.com.
The Brixton will host viewing parties for all three legs of the Triple Crown. The first party features $8 mint juleps, $5 derby punch, and an ice luge for shots. Prizes will be awarded for the best Derby attire and for correctly picking the winning horses.

Bourbon
2321 18th St. NW. bourbondc.com.
If you want an early start on Derby Day, Bourbon opens for brunch at 11 a.m. with a full day of Old Forrester mint juleps and other drink specials. After brunch ends at 3 p.m., there's a best-dressed contest for men and women, and free passed hors d'oeuvres until the race.

Due South
3 to 7 p.m. 301 Water St. SE. duesouthdc.com.
Chef Rusty Holman has prepared a menu of Kentucky hot browns, Kentucky-style fried chicken and beer cheese crostini, while the bar serves mint juleps, bourbon punches and other cocktails, plus $3 Budweiser and Bud Light. (The most notable drink is the $40 bottomless Frozen Julep, which comes in an official Kentucky Derby souvenir glass.) A "Best Hat" contest will award $150 for the best big hat or fascinator, with $100 and $50 gift cards for the runners-up.

Jack Rose
3 to 7 p.m. 2007 18th St. NW. jackrosediningsaloon.com.
The roof deck is open to all comers, with free passed hors d'oeuvres and a menu that includes Derby punch ($8), mint juleps ($9), and a selection of bourbon cocktails ($10). The bar is partnering with Flying Dog Brewery to pay tribute to Hunter S. Thompson's book "The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved." Artist Ralph Steadman, who illustrated Thompson's gonzo reportage, also creates Flying Dog's labels. Beer director Nahem Simon has picked several barrel-aged Flying Dog beers for the event, including Mint Julep Ale aged in an Angel's Envy barrel, and Double Barrel Horn Dog, a barley wine aged in both Jim Beam and Jefferson's Reserve barrels. Keep an eye out for the bar's racing tip sheets.

Red Derby
11 a.m. to 7 p.m. 3718 14th St. NW. redderby.com.
Get on early start on your Derby party with the Red Derby's annual Big Hat Brunch, where dressing up is encouraged, and the best hats win prizes. Brunch runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Closer to race time, the bar pours $5 mint juleps ($7 if you want to upgrade to Bulleit bourbon) and gives out free slices of Derby Pie.

Southern Efficiency
2 to 7 p.m. 1841 Seventh St. NW. whiskeyhome.com.
Have you ever tried a mint julep on tap? That novel cocktail is the centerpiece of Southern Efficiency's Derby party, which also includes "rolled oyster" hot browns – that's a fried oyster bomb atop a bacon-and-cheese hot brown – and whiskey drinks.