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Derby outfit. Check.

Jaw-dropping hat. Check.

Place to watch. Uh-oh. (You knew you forgot something.)

Luckily we?ve found three great derby parties happening around town.

Best for Cocktails Thanks to a plentiful open bar, the annual Children?s Charities Derby Party at Zella has become legendary. Fun fact: We personally know three now-married couples who met here--probably because of all that free-flowing booze. Tickets are $85 online ($100 at door) and include food and drinks from 2 until 6 p.m.

Best for Southern Grub A $42 ticket to Chicago Q?s ?Derby Q? gets you a Southern-style, all-you-can-eat buffet and one drink. Ham-and-cheese biscuits and old-fashioned roasted corn pudding, here you come. Reserve a spot by calling 312-642-1160.

Best for Networking The Lincoln Park Young Professionals? party starts at noon at Frontier and brings together many of the city's hottest schmoozers. Watch the races outside in the beer garden or inside in the main dining area--and make sure to bring your business card. Tickets are $20.

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