What are you wearing to the cup this weekend?
Whoa, whoa, there's another cup race?
The Colonial Cup, which will be held Saturday at Springdale Race Course in Camden, is the sister race of The Carolina Cup that is held in the spring.
Both races are part of the steeplechase horseracing circuit. But the Colonial Cup is more important, as it's one of the final races before a champion is crowned.
But do cupgoers even care about the horses? It's more about the party, right?
The Carolina Cup, which attracts more than 60,000 people to the outdoor cocktail party, is obviously more popular. AnnaBelle LaRoque, who owns the Devine Street boutique LaRoque, is already designing and making dresses for customers. College Park, a gathering area for students and the young at heart, overflows with revelry.
The Colonial Cup has been about racing - until this year. For the first time, College Park will be opened for the day.
"All of this is in an effort to attract more people," said Pam Mosier of the Carolina Cup Racing Association. "We're giving it a try to see how it goes."
Traditionally, the Colonial Cup has been held on a Sunday, but this year it has been moved to Saturday. And there's no football game, so Gamecock fans can take a break from hoping another late-season slide ends with a win against Clemson.
There are other differences between the races. Here's a comparison chart.
CAROLINA CUP: There aren't any additional activities outside of tailgating because there isn't any room left.
COLONIAL CUP: Since the crowd is much smaller, there is plenty of space. The track infield will have Jack Russell Terrier trials. There will also be wagon rides, a McDonald's-sponsored play area with a coloring wall, and a carousel. All activities are free.
CAROLINA: It has the largest attendance on the circuit. South Carolinans like to party, but so do the people who come from out of state.
COLONIAL: It's one of the most prestigious races on the circuit because the championship is usually on the line.
CAROLINA.: When College Park was first established in late '90s, there were bands to attract students. Now there's no room to set up a stage.
COLONIAL: Ten Toes Up, a rock band that jumps genres like steeplechase horses jump obstacles, will perform. The band will start playing at 11 a.m. and will play in between the races and after.
CAROLINA: The look is simple: Sundresses for all the women. No amount of rain or wind will keep the sundresses in the closet.
COLONIAL: Shawls and jackets are encouraged, as are tweeds.
CAROLINA: Heels, but if the weather is soggy, Rainbows are an easy default option.
COLONIAL: The latest style of boot.
CAROLINA: Straw hats with flair. The hat is almost as important as the dress.
COLONIAL: The straw hat won't do. Try a cloche, a bell-shaped fitted hat, or a fedora. Yes, this season women can wear a fedora - if it looks right.
CAROLINA: Not in the spring. Again, there's not enough room.
COLONIAL: Behind the grandstand and near where the horses are saddled before the race, there will be 25 to 30 vendors selling jewelry, hats, clothing, furniture and candy. It's a place where you can get some early Christmas shopping done.
IF YOU GO
WHEN: Gates open at 9 a.m. Saturday. The first race is at 12:30 p.m.
WHERE: Springdale Race Course, 200 Knights Hill Road, Camden
TICKETS: $20 or $25
INFORMATION: www.colonialcupraces.com; (803) 432-6513
Frogmore Frolic is the kickoff party for the Colonial Cup. It's also a fundraiser for the Fine Arts Center of Kershaw County and the National Steeplechase Museum.
The centerpiece of the event is the Lowcountry boil called Frogmore Stew. There will also be music by Wooden Ship and a new art exhibition based on the life of Marion DuPont Scott.
The party starts at 6 tonight at the National Steeplechase Museum which is on the Springdale Race Course, 200 Knights Hill Road, Camden. $12 to $25; (803) 432-6513 or www.fineartscenter.org