Close to 100,000 people head to Flemington for the Melbourne Cup each year, but that number pales in comparison to how many are watching on at home. Given it’s a public holiday throughout much of Victoria, and a pre-planned sick day for many others around the country, the day is a festive one for many Australians, and these tips on how to create a quality Melbourne Cup party should help you to get the most out of the day.
1. Make sure the TV is set up for easy viewing
For many people, Melbourne Cup Day is much more about socialising than horse racing. At any Melbourne Cup party, however, there will likely be more than a few avid horse racing fans who want to watch some, if not all, of the action.
As a result, it’s key that the TV is somewhere which will enable these racing lovers to tune into the action – something which is easier said than done when there’s a mass of bodies to contend with. Having a bunch of people in your house and ensuring that your TV is easy to see aren’t necessarily two things that go hand in hand, but on Melbourne Cup Day, they need to.
2. Don’t forget to hold a Melbourne Cup sweep
The Melbourne Cup sweep is ubiquitous throughout households and offices alike in the lead-up to The Race That Stops a Nation, and holding one for the people at your Melbourne Cup party can be a great way to develop more atmosphere on the big day.
The logistics are pretty straightforward here – most major newspapers will have pages with details about each of the runners which can easily be cut out and placed in a hat, bowl or whatever it may be, or alternatively you can simply write the names on a piece of paper and have guests pick their horse in that way. Regardless of how you do it, this is a great way to get everyone involved and add a little extra fun to the day.
3. Feel free to start the event as early as you like
Melbourne Cup Day isn’t like other major days of sport in Australia, such as the AFL Grand Final Day or Boxing Day. It’s held on a Tuesday in November, which means that even though most people – at least in Victoria – have the day itself off, it’s usually straight back to work the next day.
That means that unlike those other days, your party is probably not so likely to run into the early hours of the morning. The Melbourne Cup isn’t usually run until around 5 pm, but there’s no reason the party shouldn’t start closer to lunch time, given it will likely wrap up a little earlier than it might on a weekend.
Melbourne Cup Day is one of the most festive of the year, whether you choose to head to Flemington or not. While many want to go and enjoy the races up close and personal, far more around the country spend the day at home, and make the most of the day off in the absence of 100,000 excitable strangers. By following the three tips that we’ve outlined above, you can make sure that you enjoy it to the fullest.