The Luxe Weekend:
March 27, 2012
Atlanta Steeplechase April 14: Georgia’s Largest Lawn Party!
Horses + Mint Juleps + Big Hats = An Atlanta Rite of Spring
By Nancy Staab
Break out the big hats, mint juleps, and a picnic with panache for the 47th annual pony show known as Atlanta Steeplechase.
On April 14, thousands will gather for what has been termed “Georgia’s largest lawn party,” to watch powerful Thoroughbreds and jockeys in their colorful silks compete in Kentucky Derby-sponsored races. The bagpipers will officially signal the opening ceremony and beginning of the races. But before and after those horse contests, there will be plenty of opportunities for socializing, fun, tailgateing, picnicking and parties. Here’s a brief list of the highlights.
Fun Features Beyond the Horse Races
In addition to a series of horse races, Steeplechase offers loads of all-day fun, including picnicking and tailgating, tent parties, Jack Russell terrier races and pony and hay rides for the kiddies, sky diving, the famous best hat parade and competition (read: most flamboyant), dog disc-catching competitions and shops.
Pre and Post Race Parties
An official post-race party will feature live music, hors d’oeuvres, complimentary beverages and dancing until dark. $20/person. There will also be a pre-race Powers Tent Party for separate ticket purchase from 11AM to 2PM, featuring hors d’oeuvres, drinks and live music. For $60/person. Both events are available for purchase by tailgating, picnic box and chairman’s tent ticket-holders.
The Chairman’s Tent
For the ultimate VIP package purchase the Chairman’s Tent seating, hosted by The Kentucky Derby and Steeplechase chairman Hal Barry at $250/person. Sip champagne; enjoy an all-day, evolving menu presented by The Capital Grille (oysters on half shell, grill to order Filet Mignon, tempura lobster tail, salads, sides and desserts); sample all-day premium cocktails and hand-rolled cigars plus live music, preferred parking and a primo view of the races, finish line and Winner’s Circle.
Gates open at 9AM , the first race begins at 1:30 PM and the last race ends at 5PM at Kingston Downs in Kingston, Georgia (near Rome). General admission is $30 per person at www.ticketmaster.com. Picnic box seating at the finish line can be reserved for $460 for four guests, tailgating options range from $270 to $600 for up to 6 guests per car and 10 guests per RV. All tailgating and picnic box seating must be purchased in advance. General admission guests are welcome to bring picnic baskets, beverages, blankets, lawn chairs, but no glass is allowed. No vehicles will be admitted to Steeplechase grounds after 2PM.
Atlanta Steeplechase benefits Camp Southern Ground for children with academic, social or emotional difficulties and The University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine.
Visit atlantasteeplechase.org for more info, tickets, directions and map or call 404.237.7436