Opening Night Reception: On Opening Night of the Harlem Derby Music Festival Best Selling Author Dr. Pellom McDaniels will present his groundbreaking research on the life and times of African American Jockey Isaac Burns Murphy, who is the first jockey in American History to win the Kentucky Derby three times and remains the winningest jockey in Thoroughbred Racing history. Guests will sample derby appetizers as Dr. McDaniels, a Professor of African American History at Emory University summarizes his work in an intimate Author's Talk followed by a Q & A Session.
Harlem Derby Taste: This event is the quintessential Cocktail ‘Party with a Purpose’. It will offer a selection of appetizers, southern cuisine, and desserts in a sleek sophisticated, atmosphere. Beverage and Spirit vendors will feature derby inspired aberrations on popular brands throughout the evening.
Derby & Soul: In a ‘throw-back’ salute to the Harlem Renaissance that captures Harlem’s iconic fashion, style, and swag, the Derby Day will feature artists from all over the US and explore the roots of Soul Music through an explosive journey in the Black Derby Aesthetic in Style, Arts & Culture. We will host the 8th Annual "Run for the Roses Gala" as the capstone event of the day.
Mint Julep Showcase: From April 15th - May 2nd, mixologists from participating Harlem restaurants and bars will compete in the Second Annual Uptown Mint Julep Showcase. Each contestant will create their own take on the Kentucky Derby's Classic Cocktail - The Mint Julep. Every creation will be evaluated on taste, presentation, and creativity via Harlem Derby's Instagram Voting Contest: @harlemderby. Guests at the Gala on Saturday, May 2nd will cast their votes to crown the Best 2020 Mint Julep as they sample recipes from the showcase.