PINE MOUNTAIN, GA (WTVM) - Warm weather drew a crowd to the 33rd annual Steeplechase for the Arts at Callaway Resort and Gardens.
"It's a day full of horseracing, hats, and happy people at the 33rd Annual Steeplechase at Callaway Gardens."
News Leader 9 roamed around the grounds all day Saturday, taking in the sights, sounds, and pageantry of this Valley tradition.
Juanita Thomas with Spring Harbor says, "We have lots of fun food - we love the hat contest. What a better way to spend the day... it's a little hot but we like it that way."
"Everyone's just having a good time. Family, friends, colleagues...It's a beautiful day, so we're having a good time."
The Steeplechase included thoroughbreds racing through the woodland backgrounds, pony rides, a foxhound parade, a hat contest and more.
"It's really nice. To be honest, I didn't know it was a horse race until yesterday.
"I would say the grounds are very much the same now as they were then; I think the crowd is a little more sophisticated than it was in 1985."
"It's been a few years, but it does bring back a lot of fond memories from back then," says Ken Ward.
Toby Scott says, "First of all, the main ingredient we have here is family and friends. This is the heartbeat of Steeplechase right here, and that is a family and friend tailgate."
"I think the beauty of the grounds, also fun, just associated with the festivities, camaraderie that you have with friends, old friends, it's just exciting."
Beneficiaries of the Steeplechase include the non-profit Ida Cason Callaway Foundation and its mission of environmental conservation, education and land stewardship.