Camden, SC (WLTX) -- The Carolina Cup is seen each year as the unofficial start to spring, and for the 82nd time Saturday, folks from around the state gathered at Camden Springdale Race Course.
Despite rain early in the day, thousands attended.
Every year, the Carolina Cup brings the big sun-hats, bow-ties and a sea of people draped in colors. This year, it brought Deramus Forrester for the first time ever.
"I'd never heard of the cup until about seven years ago," Forrester said. "I've always wanted to come after I heard about it, but this was the first year I actually got to come."
Forrester said scheduling conflicts usually played a role in the reason why he had not attended since hearing about the cup, but this year his scheduling worked out.
"I've always heard about these drunken horror stories, but it's fun," Forrester said. "It's a good family time."
Forrester went with his roommate, Mark Ziegler, and his family. They've been going to the races for the past 15 years.
"It's a family gathering. This is our big family thing we do every year," Ziegler said. "It's the pride of Camden. This is one of the things that Camden is known for, so it's nice to be apart of that every year".
Horse-racing at Camden's Springdale Race Course goes back more than 80 years, and of course wagers are made between friends.
Ziegler and Forrester were no different. Ziegler said he was the only winner among his family Saturday.
The clear weather allowed each horse to take to a dry track where Erik Ducker and his friend tied after betting on the same horse.
Decker drove in from Charlotte for the event, and said he has for each of the past three years to see the races up close.
"It's definitely a TV friendly sport, but at the same time, you don't really feel the horses," Ducker said. "The stamping on the ground, you feel it in your heart, which is something pretty incredible."
The race has drawn more than 60,000 people each year for a glimpse of the horses.