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How to Host a Melbourne Cup Party

Home > Melbourne > Community Events | Family | Fashion | Fun Things To Do | Melbourne Cup
by Gen Wilson (subscribe)
A love of the weird and wonderful keeps me writing!
Published October 11th 2012
Make your party a real winner
Melbourne Cup
Get your friends together for a Melbourne Cup celebration.

It's coming up to the first Tuesday in November, which means only one thing in Melbourne, it's time to prepare for the race that stops the nation, the Melbourne Cup. If you're a Melburnian or living in Melbourne, it's a true cause for celebration because race day is a public holiday. This makes it the perfect time to have some friends around for a gathering. If you think that sounds like a great idea but are in need of some inspiration, read on.


The Melbourne Cup is known for its fashion and fanfare. Before race day hours are spent by the gardeners getting the roses at Flemington 'just right'. If you're hosting a Melbourne Cup party you can make your house look the part by:

1/ Buying or picking some roses and placing them in vases around the house.

2/ Checking party supply shops and online party supply services for decorations catering specifically for Melbourne Cup Day.

Days are spent getting the gardens at Flemington 'just right.'

Get Frocked Up

The Melbourne Cup is a great chance to dress up. You could:

1/ Set a dress code on the invitation. Some examples include smart casual or something a bit more fun like, 'Horsey Hats'.

2/ Provide a box of fancy dress items for guests to put on as they arrive through the door. You can purchase some cheap, way out items from op-shops.

As part of the celebration, host a tongue in cheek Fashions on the Field with a prize for the best dressed lady and man.

Fashions on the Field
Host your own Fashions on the Field.

Drinks and Hors d'oeuvres

Food at the Melbourne Cup is usually bitesize and delicious. Check out some of the ideas for tasty morsels here.

There are many options for drinks. Some of the non-alcholic options which fit in with the Melbourne Cup theme include Mock Champagne Punch and Ginger Lemonade.

If you're going to serve alcoholic beverages, champagne is obligatory on race day. You can also create Horse's Neck Cocktails and Flying Horse Cocktails.

Fun and Games

If there's one activity which is a must for Melbourne Cup Day, it's a sweepstake. Look here on the Saturday before the race when the horses and jockeys will be announced. Write down the horse names and numbers on slips of paper or buy a newspaper with the cup draw. Set a base amount, such as $2, for each horse. When guests arrive ask them how many horses they would like and collect the money. Make sure all horses are allocated. When the race is run, the money goes to the person who had the horse that came first. It can be a good idea to write down who has each horse on a separate piece of paper just in case anyone forgets.

Horse Race
This is one for the kids or adults depending on the competitiveness and enthusiasm of your guests. You can either cut out cardboard pony heads and place them on poles or if you're running short on time, use brooms. Mark out a racecourse, as long or short as space permits. Place a streamer across the finish line and organise your own human horse race.

Horse Pinata
A pinata always provides great entertainment. Just make sure it is securely fastened and guests are standing right back when the fun begins. For details of how to make a horse pinata, click here. You can also purchase horse pinatas online.

The Race Itself
Gather the troops just before 3pm to watch the race on the big screen.

After the race it's time to keep up your heels and dance the night away. Just don't forget it's Tuesday night and, as scary as the thought is, life will return to normal tomorrow.
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Why? To make the most of the Melbourne Cup.
Phone: 1300 727 575
Where: At your house.
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