Tailgating Aiken Style

Inspiration to Style the Perfect Steeplechase Tailgate

As March rolls in, the days become longer and the temps a little warmer. Green pops of color show on the trees and we all know spring is here! And with that, we look forward to one of Aiken’s biggest yearly events-Aiken Steeplechase.

The time-honored and highly anticipated tradition of tailgating is one of the main attractions of Aiken Steeplechase.

Dating back to the late 1800s, patrons gathered on the backs of truck beds or station wagons to enjoy a bite to eat, a cold drink, and socializing with friends, but modern tailgating has taken on a life of its own. Themed tablescapes, serving pieces, decor, menu items, and, of course, the cocktail has taken center stage of race day. Whether simple or elaborate, every detail is planned to provide the perfect setting for hanging out with friends, enjoying delicious bites, and cheersing a winning bet!

Aiken City Lifestyle’s Rebecca Williams, along with help from local businesses, styled the perfect tailgate setup for inspiration at this year’s race day party. The historic Green Boundary Club provided a beautiful backdrop for the shoot. The 1995 Land Rover Defender 90 and 1990 Range Rover were graciously loaned by the car enthusiasts at Car Cave. Neon Fig showcased some of their always-impressive savory menu items: Mini Salmon Bagels, Pimento Cheese and Smoked Trout Dip and a salad duo consisting of their Cucumber Salad and the Squash and Pomegranate Salad.  Paige Chapman Harden brought her incredible homemade tomato pie and Ashley and Casey with Board in Aiken built a beautiful charcuterie platter with meats, cheeses, fresh fruit, and pickled vegetables. The tailgate spread also included decorative pieces to round out the whole look. 3 Monkeys Fine Gifts on Laurens Street in downtown Aiken provided a beautiful silver champagne bucket and serving tray along with a horse painting and fun horse napkins–just the right finishing touches!

From the paddock to the finish line, these essentials guarantee all that’s needed for enjoying a day at the Aiken Steeplechase horse races.


We would like to thank these friends for participating in our shoot:

Vickki Crossland and Scott Linkenhoker - Aiken Homes Team/Meybohm

Leilana Pacheco - Gold Wowie

Jessica Miller and David Maxwell - Aiken Steeplechase Association

Abbie Bryan Gambill - Aiken City Lifestyle (part time model/full time daughter)

Special thanks to Equine Divine for outfitting Abbie Gambill for our shoot. If you like the look, she is sporting a Fior Da Liso Taupe Stripped Carina Blouse, Barbour Classic Bedale Wax Jacket and Sligo Boots by Dubarry.

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