French Garden Party at the Wilson House

Wondering where you can wear that hat or fascinator you bought especially for the Royal Wedding last week? The Kentucky Derby this weekend comes to mind right away of course. The Willard InterContinental‘s historic Round Robin Bar will once again host an “Afternoon at the Races” at its annual Bonnets and Bow-Ties Kentucky Derby Party, Saturday May 7, from 4-7PM ($75). Longview Gallery in Shaw will be transformed into Churchill Downs for the “most exciting two minutes in sports” where seersucker and big hats will, of course, be encouraged while guests sip on bottomless mint Julep during the “A Derby Day P’arty” ($75, May 7th 5-8PM, proceeds benefit Pediatric Care). But if horses and bourbon are not your thing, there’s also a little hat worthy event at the Woodrow Wilson House on May 11th. The garden outside the Kalorama residence will be transformed into a French jardin for the grande fête, aka their 23rd Perennial Garden Party. I love that the event has a French theme this year, to coincide with the new exhibition “American Women Rebuilding France, 1917-1924,” a collection of over 25 vintage photographs and rare silent film footage that bring to life the extraordinary work undertaken between 1917 and 1924 by 350 American women – all volunteers – who left comfortable lives in the United States to help the war-ravaged civilian population of northeastern France. Back in the garden, there will be a fun (but fierce) competition, with fabulous prices, for the best Spring chapeau in categories from best French themed to classic for men and women. Oh, and instead of bourbon, there will be champagne and a French inspired menu provided by Occasions Caterers. Sounds très amusant non?

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