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October 28, 2016

UGA-UF not the FIRST “World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party”?

From long ago, spectators at The Carolina Cup or, perhaps,
the first World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party?
 
This we know: In the late 1950s, the annual event that is Georgia-Florida first came to be known by its distinguished title—the “World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party”—from Bill Kastelz, the editor of The Florida Times-Union. Kastelz supposedly created the moniker, but would use it just once in a column. Regardless, the nickname was said to have been picked up by other writers, yet I cannot find routine use of it by the media until the late 1960s (although perhaps there was widespread use by fans and the like).

Set in Camden, South Carolina, The Carolina Cup (also once referred to as “The Camden Cup”) is a huge steeplechase horse race occurring in the spring. Beginning in the 1930s, the racing spectacle has been as much as a social function as it is a sporting event and, at one time, was billed by the press as “The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party.” From what I discovered, the moniker was used routinely by the media for The Carolina Cup beginning in the mid-1960s, or just before the press started commonly using the label for Georgia-Florida. It was also during the mid-1960s that the event was recognized as having been “The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party” for “many years.” During the 1970s, or when the use of “The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party” had become widespread in Jacksonville, the use of the title for the event in Camden dwindled as the state of South Carolina increased activity in enforcing liquor laws.

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