A Tip of the Hat: Carolina Cup 2014

Spectators at the Carolina Cup. Photo by Meredith Malphrus.

Spectators at the Carolina Cup. Photo by Carmen Pinckney.

A round of applause to those who survived this year’s Carolina Cup! You may have stumbled your way through Cup, literally,  but no worries…you still rocked it! Sure, you may have had  one too many drinks–and since we’re on the subject, one too  many MIP’s–but before I go any further, let’s start from the  beginning.

It’s entirely too early and you would never get up at 4am, but in order to ready yourself for the Carolina Cup, it is absolutely necessary. Ladies, let’s be honest here, one of the main reasons why we love Cup is because we get the excuse to wear a cute dress (mostly Lilly Pulitzer… duh), pearls and the most adored accessory of all: the hat. Oh, boy, the hat.

The frat boys looked dashing with their bow-ties and button-downs and legitimately speaking, their main accessory, a cold beer in hand. Rightfully so.

And, lest we forget the amount of time the girls put into those  a-maz-zinggg coolers! I swear, they get better and better every  year.

Finally after a two-hour bus ride, everyone is in rural, southern Camden, SC. For those of you who did not attend, just imagine a plethora of seersucker suits, Lilly Pulitzer frocks, and an endless view of floppy hats. However, the Carolina Cup is actually a horse race and one of the most popular thoroughbred horse races in the state, attracting over a total of 60,000 Cup-goers! Experiencing the race is something every South Carolinian or horse enthusiast should do.

Experiencing the extremities of College Park, however, is something else entirely. For those of you who don’t know, College Park is an area at the racetracks where students from schools all over the coast come and set up tents to watch the races, tailgate, and hang out for the day. Things get pretty rowdy in ‘ole College Park, to say the least. Without exaggeration, within the first two minutes of being there, four different men were being escorted out, either completely unconscious, or sporting a bloody nose.

Hey, some just can’t handle Cup.

I met some real troopers during my time in College Park. One girl was reluctantly thrown into a kiddie pool that held cans of beer, leaving her fairly soaked. Guys, just because she was a small person and easy to lift does not mean you can throw her into a kiddie pool. It’s okay, just remember that next time.

Another interesting character I met was a man who walked right up to me, proceeded to sing something that sounded like a mixture of Pit Bull and Ke$ha’s song Timber and the National Anthem, and left. Whoever you are, I love how confident you were about making no sense at all.

But, to those of you who either remained (somewhat) conscious or didn’t get taken by the police, give yourself a pat on the back. You earned it. From the outfits, to the coolers, to the amount of alcohol consumed, your dedication to Cup is seriously appreciated.

Carolina Cup 2014, two thumbs up!

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