The First Annual Circus House Kentucky Derby Party – Columbus, OH

The initial buzz of the festivities is cooling off – just in time for an exclusive elated Light download on the happenings inside the Circus House for the first annual Kentucky Derby Party.

A multilevel masterpiece, this humble abode was nothing short of architectural art that anyone who happen to gaze upon it could see. The paneling, the brick exterior, the stairway to the front door greeting you with an archway – were only a taste of what was to come.

Upon arrival, valet service took care of parking so everyone could focus solely on the fun they were about to have. The party began at 4pm, so I arrived early to make sure I had everything taken care of before guests started showing.

An ice sculpture of a derby horse was waiting for passers by to see it at the bottom of the stairway to the front door. Red rose petals decorated the stairs, adding a little something extra to the red carpet leading the way to the entrance of the party.

Three cocktail lounges were prepared to serve Mint Juleps and Vodka Lemonade (and other adult beverages) – one on the main floor next to the front door, one upstairs, and one outside in the covered area (since it was predicted to rain – and it did!). The food was catered and made fresh to demand, all in perfect finger food sized portions for everyone to conveniently enjoy.

— And who could have a Kentucky Derby party without a DJ? I don’t know either! ;] This party was fully prepared with all levels of entertainment, including the talented DJ who kept the mood of the party upbeat, classic, and happening the entirety of the event.

As the guests arrived, they were greeted at the door, given programs and betting information, and any other tidbit of guidance they might need (like where to place a bet and where the beverages are located!). Many guests made their way around all levels of the house, exploring each room for the hidden gems that they are – delighting in the elegant decor and socializing with each other.

— But can we talk about those hats now? I don’t know why, there’s just something about beautiful hats that really turn the level of fun up at a party, and the bigger the better, I say! The lovely women attending this party did not disappoint.

Leading up to the official Kentucky Derby race went by quicker than I thought it would. This event was so entertaining to photograph that I barely recognized how fast the time was going. The reactions of those watching the race were some of my favorite moments to photograph. Though some didn’t get the end result they wanted, the 3min race was definitely the highlight of the night. After it was over, those whose chosen horse was the victor (#5 Always Dreaming), turned their winning tickets into the proper raffle bin for their chance at winning a selection of prizes, including, wine, select liquor, and cash!

There were a few drawings and the winners collected their goods with cheers and smiles as the party slowly came to a close. Hugs and laughter filled the foyer as guests said their goodbyes to each other and the generous host of the evening.

As I stated before on social media, this event was one for the books, and that’s exactly why it’s going down in an official blog post, so we can look back on it fondly time and time again. Thank you for joining me in quickly reliving this incredible event. Enjoy viewing the captured moments of the First Annual Circus House Kentucky Derby Party.


Sponsor/Host: Wolfe Insurance Group

Event Coordinator: Ashley Stephan Weddings & Events

Rentals/Design: Dalay Ket, Lasting Impressions, Personal Touch Rentals

Ice Sculpture: RockOn Columbus

Catering/Bartending: Snapshots Lounge

Betting/Entertainment: Black Diamond Casino Events

Photography: Elated Light Photography (us!)




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