We attend every year. The planner in me loves it and all the day drinking it brings. The equestrian in me loves the sport of it. My family loves it. My daughters love to watch the riders warm up in the paddock. My husband loves all the fancy food I make and the bourbon! I love the warm sun, mint juleps and hats! There is something for everyone. We watch the opening parade, listen to the National Anthem, bet on the races, gorge ourselves on food, shop, and meet up with friends. We look forward to it every year. It’s the one time of year I can go over the top with the floral displays, linens and food! This year the two tailgating spaces to either side of us kept coming over and helping us eat our feast because their kids said ours were better and as one teen put it “if you’re going to ruin my life by bringing me here the least you could do is have good food “<insert loud sighs, stomping feet and eye rolls>. Teens!!! HA! No thank you. My girls better stay little forever!! This year’s tailgating theme was Virginia is for Horse Lovers!! I made individual patron-a-ritas. I set up a bourbon bar. We turned my husband’s truck into the “party paddock” for the kids. I had racing themed sugar cookies, pecan pie (with bourbon whipped cream of course). I kept a very Southern feel to everything. We had fresh flowers, hydrangeas, brunea berries, peonies, and more! I made crab cakes with a zesty lemon sauce and home-made remoulade. Mac n cheese squares from scratch, muffalettas, mini crab cakes, charcuterie, truffle cheese, fruit salad, fresh cut veggies, various dips and crackers. You hungry yet?! I made a watering hole out of a vintage Hungarian baby bathtub (yes a really baby bathtub from the depression). It was so fun I was sad to see it last only one day and cannot wait to start planning for next year. Who wants to come with us?!!! There is always plenty of room and the more the merrier.