Steeplechase has confirmed that Southern Living will serve as Presenting Sponsor for the Thirty-Fourth Running Steeplechase at Callaway Gardens. The annual race for the arts has raised over 4 million dollars for local arts organizations since its inception in 1984.
"We are so thrilled that Southern Living is the presenting sponsor of the Steeplechase because they are bringing lots of fun and excitement to the table!" said this year's Race Director, Michelle Blanchard.
In addition to being present in full force on Race Day, Southern Living will host a party on Friday, November 2 to debut the new and improved best-selling 1972 cookbook. The party will be held at The Lodge and Spa at Callaway from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Blanchard is looking forward to the Friday night event for several reasons. "There will be tastings from the recipes in the cookbook, along with bourbon tasting from Blade and Bow," she said.
"The author of the cookbook, Elizabeth Heiskell, will be there signing these fabulous cookbooks and they will be available for purchase," explained Blanchard. Tickets to the Friday night party are $175/ea and are only available in a very limited quantity. The tickets available are expected to sell out quickly.
Remember that Friday night is only the beginning, though.
"On race day, Southern Living will be there in full Southern Living flair!" Blanchard explained excitedly. In addition to local vendors, Southern Living will bring some of their own to add to the growing number present for attendees to shop throughout the day.
Southern Living will be adding their own style to elements of Steeplechase this year, but regular attendees should know that all of the traditional elements will still be there as well. Favorites include the Silent Auction, Taste of the Chase, Kids Corral, Stick Pony Race, and the beloved Hat Contest.
This year the Hat Contest will have a little something extra to it. Sid Evans, Southern Living's editor-in-chief, will serve as a judge for the beloved hat contest. Yes, you read that right. The editor of Southern Living will be judging all of the Steeplechase hat entrees this year.
Theresa Robertson, Event Manager for Steeplechase this year, is thrilled to have Southern Living as Presenting Sponsor this year. "The Steeplechase at Callaway prides itself on providing a variety of experiences that fit every lifestyle, every budget, and every demographic," said Robertson.
As planning began, Robertson saw another need for something different this year. "As our organization seeks to expand its reach and grow our patron base, we realized the need to provide a 'V.I.P. experience' that is more casual," Robertson explained. "We are thrilled about the addition of the Liberty Utilities Hunt Club this year. While our Guarantor Tent provides our more seasoned patrons with a high-end, turn-key experience likened to a fine dining restaurant, our goal with the Liberty Utilities Hunt Club is to provide a more casual V.I.P. experience. By offering a barbecue lunch, a beer and wine open bar and entertainment by Neal Lucas, the Hunt Club is sure to be the newest hotspot on Race Day."
Believe it or not, this will not be Southern Living's first Steeplechase at Callaway Gardens. Several of their staff members have attended previous races, which led to discussions about their involvement this year.
"Even though the folks from Southern Living are familiar with the event and have even attended the event, they wanted to become more invested in the Steeplechase," Blanchard said. "We of course welcomed the partnership because the two marry up so well. It is a win-win for both sides."
Blanchard was thrilled to share about the way Southern Living has expanded the race's reach. "There is a wonderful article on the Steeplechase in the latest issue of the magazine that will reach a much broader area of people, expanding our exposure in the region!" explained Blanchard.
What does this mean?
Steeplechase is more than a party, it's a staple to our community's history and our well-being. It's a mission, and this year Southern Living is coming alongside that mission - and therefore alongside each of us. The more people that hear about the event, the more giving potential to each beneficiary of the event. The more given, the more outstanding the cultural climate of our community will be. It's that simple.
Blanchard and her 2018 Steeplechase team are confident that adding Southern Living as Presenting Sponsor this year will be a tremendous success. "It IS the “event of the season” so you really don’t want to miss it. Especially this year!" said Blanchard. "It will truly be a southern (living) kind of day." ◼︎
If You Go:
What: The Thirty-Fourth Running Steeplechase at Callaway Gardens
Presented by Southern Living
Where: Callaway Gardens, 17800 US Hwy 27, Pine Mountain, GA 31822
When: November 3, 2018
Cost: Tickets start at $30 and prices vary with a wide selection of options.
Make Your Race Day a Winner!
Here are some pro tips & tricks to making the most out of your Steeplechase experience this year...
1) Click here for the full Race Day Schedule to plan your day ahead of time.
4) Save this map on your phone for quick and easy access when you need it!
Your Race Day Conversation Starters:
Become a Steeplechase History buff and get ready to mix and mingle with these simple prompts!
1) "Did you know that a single family started this race to support the arts?"
2) "Have you seen the art competition winners this year?"
3) "Can you name three beneficiaries of today's race?"