Thousands expected in Camden for Carolina Cup

Published: Mar. 27, 2015 at 11:58 AM EDT|Updated: Apr. 6, 2015 at 12:02 PM EDT
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CAMDEN, SC (WIS) - This weekend it's off to the races for the 83rd Annual Carolina Cup.

Gates open at Springdale Race Course at 9 A.M. and the first race begins at 1:30 p.m.

Tickets are available at the gate for $45 cash only. Same goes for parking—it's $10 cash for general parking.

Carolina Cup organizers say the event is an annual tradition for some people, especially families. It's a time people get to dress up in their lily dresses, hats, and bow ties.

With thousands of people coming from all over, officials say it has a financial impact for the Midlands.

"We have a huge group of people coming," said Maggie Davis with the Carolina Cup. "So it's just a huge tourism boost for us and we also donate a large amount of money to different organizations throughout the area. And so all the money that we get we automatically go out and disperse it throughout the community. So it's a huge boost for us every year."

Nearly 70,000 people are expected to gather for what is known as the "Social Event of the South."

With that many people expected,  law enforcement officials in Camden say they'll have a presence in and around the Springdale Race Course. Last year there were nearly 250 citations or arrests addressing everything from fighting and underage drinking to public drunkenness and disorderly conduct.

Camden Police say the majority of those citations were for underage drinking and most of them occurred in the College Park area. Chief Joseph Floyd said they will have just as many law enforcement officers this year as they did last year, with more officers focused on alcohol enforcement.

Floyd said there will also be no tolerance for violence.

"We do have the authority to remove people off that property," he said. "The board has authorized us to trespass people off that property. Even if they haven't violated any law, but it's obvious there's going to be some problems later in the day, it's time to pack your bags and leave. We do all the prevention work we can possibly do. And things that we can't prevent. Then we arrest."

Kershaw County Deputies will not be inside the Springdale Race Course, but Sheriff Jim Matthews says he tripled the amount of deputies that will be patrolling areas around the race track to help crack down on drunk driving.

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