By Sophia Rutti
Virginia Gold Cup is a Northern Virginia tradition. If you’re from the area, you know that Gold Cup means bright colored pants, floppy hats and a full day of drinking, tailgating and betting.
The Virginia Gold Cup has been running since 1922. It started out as a small but prestigious gathering and grew into the enormous event that it is today. In recent years, Gold Cup has brought a crowd of over 50,000 spectators every first Saturday in May.
This year the event falls on May 2 and will be nothing less than extravagant. There will be tailgating as far as the eye can see at beautiful Great Meadows where the event is held. In addition, spectators can watch terrier races, shop at vendors, compete for the best tailgate or best hat and bet on the horse and rider that they think has the best shot at winning.
Before you head off for a day at the races, however, here are a few do’s and don’ts:
Do: Wear an outrageously big, bright and floppy hat
Don’t: Get outrageously drunk
Do: Get excited about the actual steeplechase
Don’t: Cause a big ruckus at the fence line—you don’t want to make the horses or riders unnecessarily nervous
Do: Congratulate the riders
Don’t: Touch their horses without asking
Gold Cup is the perfect event for the whole family. You can bring a picnic and enjoy the beauty of Great Meadows or get into the wagering culture of the steeplechase.
Admission tickets are charged by vehicle and range from general admission at $85 and commercial bus (31-55 guests) at $850. Buy the tickets in the next two days to guarantee that they arrive in time for the event.
For more information, click here, or to buy tickets, click here.
Virginia Gold Cup
May 2, 10 a.m-7:30 p.m
Admission $85 and up