Atlanta Steeplechase ‘begins and ends in Bartow’
by Marie Nesmith
Apr 09, 2013 | 2481 views | 0 0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print
One of the most popular activities leading up to the races at the Atlanta Steeplechase is the hat parade and contest. SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News, File
One of the most popular activities leading up to the races at the Atlanta Steeplechase is the hat parade and contest. SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News, File
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With the 48th annual Atlanta Steeplechase taking shape Saturday, the host community will highlight its past and present attributes through the Team Bartow Village.

“The Bartow Village is a proactive effort on behalf of the Chamber of Commerce to actively engage and promote businesses in the community that it serves,” said Bryan Canty, board member for the Cartersville-Bartow County Chamber of Commerce and chairman of the steering committee for Team Bartow Village. “Never before has an entity like the Chamber taken [this type of] hands-on approach. ... [I am] very pleased [with how it has come together]. In fact, our original goal was to have 10 tents in the Bartow Village and right now we have 13.

“So that’s a 33 percent increase over our target. In addition to that, we’ve also sold out our allotment of tickets that come with a tent sponsorship. ... This is to really show what our community is capable of when it comes together and just to remind everyone that the Steeplechase begins and ends in Bartow County.”

Located between the second and third turns on Kingston Downs’ back stretch, the Bartow Village is open to local guests as well as out-of-town visitors.

“[We invite people to] come out because the Team Bartow tent, which is sponsored by the Chamber, is open to the public and it’s very family friendly,” Canty said. “We will have displays by various municipalities in Bartow County as well as interactive displays by both the Booth and Tellus museums as well as Department of Natural Resources. There [also] will be a video presentation that will chronologue Bartow County’s history as well as give some interesting facts concerning the development of the Steeplechase itself.”

Along with the Taste of the Chase food court, which will highlight the cuisine of area restaurants, Bartow Village’s offerings also will include the Atlanta Rhythm Section headlining a concert after the final race at the eastern end of the village, followed by an after party at The City Loft, 72 S. Railroad St., Cartersville. The village’s festivities will kick off Friday with a pre-event party at 9 p.m. at Knight’s 1889, 24 W. Main St., Cartersville.

Billed as the best lawn party in Georgia, the Atlanta Steeplechase is expected to draw about 20,000 people to the 435-acre Kingston Downs complex in Kingston Saturday. Starting at 9 a.m., the event will provide activities throughout the day, some of which include horse races, a hat parade and contest, Jack Russell terrier races, pony and camel rides, the Atlanta Peoplechase 5K Canter and Parade of the Bear Creek Hounds.

“We have really sought this year to come out on behalf of Bartow County in a very big way in coordination with, of course, the Chamber and many other businesses throughout our community to really establish this as the home of the Atlanta Steeplechase,” said Cartersville-Bartow County Convention & Visitors Bureau Deputy Director Regina Wheeler, referring to the Bartow Village. “Of course, this is a statewide market with the primary bulk of that being metro Atlanta. This does benefit us greatly in visibility but also in terms of economics with people stopping, gassing up, buying those last minute items, staying overnight.

“... [Visibly to] establish ourselves as the home of such a great event is what we’re really seeking to do and specifically using our tent in conjunction with the Department of Economic Development here in Bartow County and the city of Cartersville to bring in key developers, key business leaders and to entertain them for a day to show them how great our community is and what fun we have here and just kind of get to mingle and network with our board members as well as other key business leaders in our community.”

General admission tickets can be obtained at select Publix Supermarkets, www.ticketmaster.com or by calling 404-249-6400. Children 12 and younger will be admitted at no charge. Locally, Homestead Properties — 770-382-5544 — is selling general admission tickets for $25 each and parking passes for $20.

Proceeds from the event will benefit The University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine. Raffle tickets, which are $30 each or four for $100 for a Terry Reid Hyundai Equus, can be obtained by calling 404-237-7436.

For more information about the Atlanta Steeplechase, visit www.atlantasteeplechase.org.