Every first Saturday in May, America honors the nearly 150-year-old traditions of the Kentucky Derby as they inspire watch parties smoldering in gorgeous hats, fashion-forward colorful clothing, Derby cakes and sweet Mint Juleps.  We hear the amazing stories behind the horses, stables and owners gracing the fastest two minutes in sports and fall in love, often placing heartfelt bets for our favorite to win, despite the odds!

Tampa may be miles from Lexington, but it is no different here!  I've been to several Derby-themed events and was excited to learn my friends at 13 Ugly Men decided to throw a Derby Party this year. Even better, they held it at the awesome Cask Social Kitchen, known for delicious food, cool vibes Cask calls one of Tampa's favorite Buccaneers (Vincent Jackson) as one of their own. 

To our delight, both Mr. and Mrs. Vincent Jackson attended the party with 600+ others dressed in their Derby best. I've never seen so many fancy hats strolling South Howard Avenue and I grew up in South Tampa! 

(Photo above: 620 WDAE Radio Host Tom Krasniqi, my husband Chris Morales, Bucs player Vincent Jackson. For reference, my husband is 5'11" so these guys are REALLY tall!)

(Photo above: Lovely ladies enjoying one of the fun games set up at the event)

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There were games, a stunning horse for photo ops, great music, great food and of course a hat contest. 

The best part of the day was the absolutely gorgeous weather! It's unheard of to be in the 70s at this time of year!  We're usually already planning beach and pool days as temperatures begin to rise into the 90s. Even more beautiful, the 13 Ugly Men group raised more than $20,000 for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa Bay, a 501(c)3 organization who mentors and provides stability to at-risk children by pairing them with caring and loving volunteers. 

We stayed longer than expected, enjoying the conversation and scenery for nearly five hours. This party is likely to replace the White Party for the foreseeable future, at least that's what President David Moyer said. 

(Photo above: Me and 13 Ugly Men President David Moyer)

I'm totally ok with this, I LOVED this party and no one can throw a party for a purpose better than the 13 Ugly Men! Look for the 2018 event details on 813area next year and plan to attend, I hope to see you there!

About Big Brothers and Big Sisters

Our mission is to provide children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported one-to-one relationships that change their lives for the better, forever. A simple but powerful mission which serves as the foundation for what we do. Thanks to dedicated volunteers and generous donors we're able to serve children from all walks of life.  Visit Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa Bay and consider volunteering today!

Looking for more fun Things to Do in Tampa, be sure to preview our Events and Mother's Day Pages and check out

Cover Photo credit: Joe Sale Photography, used by permission.