They say the best way to ensure you get invited to a party is to throw it yourself. And Derby  is no exception - this time of year is abundant with festive events. But if staying home and entertaining a small bunch is more up your alley, might I suggest a Mad Hatter party, with dessert from Patticakes & Pies ?
The Attire: White Tie Absurdism. Think fancy with a flair. Elegant Eccentric.
This is an excellent opportunity to break out your silver! If you don't have silver, many party-supply stores actually carry some relatively nice silverish plastics. For a fun twist - and weather permitting - take your dining room furniture outside. Set up a place for eating outdoors all fancy-style, with recliners, and perhaps a lamp or two. Roses are the flower of choice for decor.
Well, I hear there's a horse race you can watch on television. Gamble it up right with your own racing forms. Ask guests to bring an assortment of absurd baubles and trinkets for the winner's pot. Host your own races with stick ponies. Have a Derby hat contest - ask guests to arrive in the wackiest Derby hat they can muster. Present the winner with an audacious silver goblet for their mint juleps.
Mint Juleps, Benedictines, Derbyish Pies, Bourbon Balls. You have two routes you can take with feeding your guests. The first -and most ambitious - is to make it all yourself. Just mosey on over to Glutire , where I have compiled some recipes.
But if you really want to focus on the rest of party planning, why not leave dessert up to the professionals? Patticakes & Pies  owner Patti Cianci is still taking orders for her delicious "1st Saturday-n-May" Pie (chocolate walnut). You can order it with or without the bourbon. I tried it without the Bourbon, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Don't like pie? She is also taking orders for Bourbon Balls, Kentucky Butter Cake and Mint Julep Cake.
[photo by bhamsandwich]