Kate McGrory, the 2010 race director of 26th Steeplechase at Callaway Gardens, says if you can’t find her Saturday, she’ll be in the Horseshoes Tent catching up with college football scores.
You have to have a $25 wristband for the tent, but that includes barbecue and four flat-screen television, plus “one giant one.”
The tent is limited to 300 people, so if you want to watch football in between horse races, you’d better get one now. It will likely be sold out by Saturday.
That giant (48-inch) television is the second prize of this year’s raffle. First prize is a Kentucky Derby package for four people. Raffle tickets are still available for $50 each.
Never miss a local story.
“We’ve got something new for someone who might not be able to do a whole Terrace box,” executive director Lucy Knight said. “We have individual Terrace tickets for $85 in Section D.”
As usual the Infield is the place to be for families and fun. There’s entertainment and food (Country’s Barbecue, ice cream from Bruster’s, Chick-Fil-A, Marco’s Pizza, 27 Grill and Dusty Bob’s)
“People will find plenty of opportunities to eat,” Knight said. She added that if people don’t want to bring their own food, they can buy it.
Besides the Jack Russell terrier races and the Carmike Kids’ Corral — which for $20 per child includes inflatables, popcorn, cotton candy, ice cream, arts and crafts — there will be rock climbing, bungee jumping, a Moonwalk, face painting, pony rides, greyhounds and the River City Model-A car exhibit.
The favorites like the Ride Tailgate contest, Stick Pony races, Southern Views hat contest, her magazine favorite recipe contest and the Ledger-Enquirer Best Decorated Terrace box competition, will still be going on during the day.
The Race Arcade will sell all sorts of arts and crafts including hats and jewelry.
And if you need a little cash, for the first time, Steeplechase will have two ATMs available. One will be in the Infield and the other near the Terrace boxes, McGrory said.
It’s too late to buy tickets for the Chaser’s Eve Ball, but you can still go to the Afterthoughts — Cigars Under the Stars party from 9-11 p.m. Friday at the RiverMill Event Centre. This party is for desserts, cigars, drinks and dancing to music by the Usual Suspects for $65.
Steeplechase benefits Columbus Museum, Springer Opera House, Columbus Symphony Orchestra, Historic Columbus Foundation, Ida Cason Callaway Foundation, Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine and Callaway Gardens. More than $2.5 million has been given to the arts and other organizations in the past 25 years.
“The horses are coming; the big-name trainers are coming; the ponies are coming; the Jack Russells are coming and the purses (for the actual horse racing) are still up there,” Knight said. “And the course looks beautiful.