The spring carnival is held between the football and the cricket season.
This is done for a reason. Most people do not want to give up their footy and their cricket, but it also fits nicely into the time of year.
After the colder and a bit wetter winter, spring often offers plenty of beautiful days.
Ideal for a day of fun and frivolity at the races!
The fashion industry realizes sales in excess of 20 million dollars so its hard to say if the main attraction is watching the horses or people watching.
Melbourne Spring Carnival: The Melbourne Cup
The Melbourne Cup is the biggest race during the Melbourne spring carnival. This event is held on the first Tuesday in November and is a day off in the Melbourne CBD. The race draws over 100,000 visitors and all over Australia people are drawn to the TV at 3pm to watch the race. Many people will have their own Melbourne Cup party with a BBQ and a Melbourne Cup sweep.
Melbourne Spring Carnival: How to Run a Melbourne Cup Sweep
In many offices around Melbourne and the rest of the country a Melbourne Cup sweep is held. About a week in advance of the race the organiser of the sweep puts all the names of the competing horses in a hat. People pay a small amount of money in a community 'kitty' (e.g. five dollars) and each person pulls a name from the 'hat'. The person who draws the winning horse gets the winnings. A cute variation is one in which the person who draws the last finishing horse gets a certain amount of money too.
Melbourne Spring Carnival: The First Melbourne Cup
The first Melbourne cup was held in 1861 and was won by a horse called Archer. He also won first place the following year and more than likely would have won the third year but was banned from entering due to his acceptance nomination not arriving in time. Although the race winners are now honored with an actual trophy the first winner in 1861 was not. Values of the winners cup have risen tremendously since the cup first started being given out as a trophy in 1865.
The Melbourne Cup is the biggest horse race, but there are many more big races with the winner getting millions of dollars. The Caulfield Cup is a good one to go to, as is Oakes Day towards the end of spring carnival. There are plenty of good races to visit and to get a good sense of the atmosphere and the fun, it is even better to go to some smaller races to avoid the massive crowds.
Last year over 400,000 people attended the Melbourne spring carnival races. The races have become a fashion gala almost as much as a horse race. The fans and country racing clubs show up in their finest to compete with each other over the best fashions. There are competitions for hats, menswear, ladies wear, and riding attire. Some great prizes, including trips, money, and the prestige of winning are incentive to become a top placer in these competitions.
The chance to attend, make an impression with your fashion, and have a good time partying is now as much a part of the event as the horse racing itself.
Be prepared to see some of the most intriguing hats, riding outfits, and best dressed people in the world.
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