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A Horse Race

March 29, 2012

The Classiest Spring Event in the South

Spring semester is fun for many reasons: the warm air, the lake campus, puppies, free cone day, but one of the most anticipated college events has finally arrived. That’s right folks, it is time for the Carolina Cup.

But wait, what is the Carolina Cup?

Hold your tongue, talk like that only exposes you as a yankee or a high school prospective student.

Technically, the Carolina Cup is a horse race held in the armpit of South Carolina, Camden. But for Panhellenic and Davidson Eating House Posers alike, the event is so much more. In fact, seeing a horse comes secondary to the fashion, day drinking, and rehashing high school with old friends from other colleges.

The Carolina Cup is like fashion week for college southerners. An opportunity to wear your most outrageous and daring lily pulitzer shift dress, patterned blazers, only to be completed with ray bans and a stiff drink.

At Davidson, girls pledge their allegiance to a Davidson fraternity, and arrive at the house decked out in pearls, big hats, and clothes modeled after the royal family in England. Pictures are snapped, drinks are filled, and before one can blink, a bus full of boisterous college kids fall out of the bus onto a sunny, tented field in Camden, SC  lined with other college kids, frat games, music and kegs.

If there is any single event for which I am eternally glad that I attended a southern college, it is Carolina Cup.  I like so many other college kids live for this event.  When you ask my friends to describe their experience most of the time it goes like this:

“you get on the bus, wondering how am I going to entertain myself for 6 hours in a field? and in an instant, you are back on the bus panting, wondering what the hell happened, but knowing it was one of the best times you ever had”

“I forgot sunscreen. It was awesome”

Stories from the cup are if anything, entertaining.  Last year, a kid from Wake Forest fell asleep on the Davidson bus and forced a pledge to come pick him up when woke up on our campus.

The Carolina Cup is this Saturday, since betting on horses isn’t really part of the experience, I am going to make a few bets on what is going to happen this year at the cup.

1. Alexa will crush under peer pressure and go to the cup

2. Meredith will get very burnt.

3. Connor will not sleep on the way back, but instead volunteer to do bus acrobatics and attempt to fit himself into an overhead compartment

4. A Davidson student will get arrested

5. My preppy attire will in some way, be a little off the mark

6. Everyone will use instagram for their photos, ignoring the irony that all of Instagram’s founders would not want to be caught dead at an event like Carolina Cup.

7. Someone will get into an altercation with another fraternity

8. Our bus driver will let us use the microphone

9. No one will make it out after we get back, despite our best intentions

10. 6+ make out chants started

If you are not in college, the good news is, there are family tents so that you can at least bear witness to the degradation that is our nation’s youth if you were not so fortunate to be a part of the fun in your college years.

The Carolina Cup is seeped with irony in that it is a relatively trashy affair under the guise of lily pulitzer, vineyard vines, and finger food.  And I absolutely love it.

Don’t call me Saturday, there is no cell service at the Carolina Cup.


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