Every Spring here in Richmond, VA we have the Strawberry Hill Races at Colonial Downs (in New Kent, VA). It's a Richmond tradition that salutes Virginia's equine history... as well as it's a huge reason to party. And this year marks the 79th Running of the Strawberry Hill Races and the weather is primed to be just right so Richmond is busting with excitement.
It's an all day, outdoor event with the horse races in the center and there are "plots" that are sold to cars on the outside of the track. You drive onto the track and park in two rows - the inner part of the track and the outer part of the track and basically tailgate all day long. We usually have a plot with about 10 or so people and set up a tent and have tons of food and drink (and maybe a cooler full of jello shots). There's also betting (on certain races) so if you are feeling lucky then you can have a go at that. Maybe we'll try it this year...
Every year there is a theme and this year it's "Super 70's Secretariat" - and let me tell you there will be people who go all out in costume and decorate their tents like it's their job. It's fun to just walk around and look at all of the other set-ups (oh Saturday provides the BEST people watching!) The theme is supposed to take you back to 1973 when Secretariat was born on Meadow Farm in Caroline County, VA. This amazing creature went on to win the Triple Crown and for those of you who aren't familiar with horse racing that means that Secretariat won the Kentucky Derby, The Preakness Stakes and The Belmont Stakes in record time back in 1973. You are supposed to think 70's bell-bottoms, sideburns, loud open collared shirts for men and colorful sun dresses with bouffant hair for the women. Think disco and classic rock!
The grand finale to the day will be at 6:15 with the simulcast of The Preakness Stakes. The Strawberry Hill Race's are tied to The Preakness because it's parent company, SFVA, owns the Meadow Event Park (Meadow Farm mentioned above.) Watching The Preakness is a great way to end a day of beautiful horses, races, food, drinks and hanging with friends.
How about you guys come to Strawberry Hill next year? We'll see you there!!