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Ah, Carolina Cup – the one magical day of the year when you want to wake up before 6:00 AM, where big hats and Lilly Pulitzer are worn unironically, and when Camden, South Carolina temporarily becomes the center of the universe. Did you miss all the fun? Don’t worry – the women of Her Campus Davidson were there, and they’re sharing all the inside scoop on Frat Nation’s favorite day of the year.

The Kappa Alpha Experience (as told by Josephine Cannell)

Photo by Josephine Cannell.

Maybe it was only 6:30 AM, but the brothers of KA were certainly bringing their A-game. Think: country music, early morning refreshments, and Paul Henderson wearing a floral dress and sunhat similar to those us chicks were sporting. The anticipation for “frat Christmas” was palpable, and after two short hours of belting classics such as “Kiss From a Rose” and “American Pie” (since Bury couldn’t get the music to work…c’mon Bury) we were pulling into the college park. Oh, and who could forget the excellent bus entertainment provided by Nick Drury? Highlights from the Cup include Bojangles chicken and biscuits for lunch, meeting the brothers of KA chapters from other schools, that the weather miraculously held out, and of course Chuck’s “marriage proposal” to Krista. We certainly “gave ‘em hell,” but by the end of the day everyone was ready for a nice long slumber on the ride back. 

The Sig Ep Experience (as told by Madi Driscoll)

Bagels and Lily greeted me in the morning at the Sig Ep House.  Leaving early with the speakers, I missed the bus ride but got a load of free Vineyard Vines swag.  While it took longer for Sig Ep to set up, since our electric source and Tenders were late, once the music got going, our tent was where the party was. Nestled between Davidson’s K Sig and KA chapters, we had a nice row of Wildcat Love. Our pledges won a (ahem) game against Duke’s pledges by a default rule, but won nonetheless.  Easy access to the track meant more views of the horses than most had, and we were all summarily impressed by the fact that Sig Eps can, in fact, pull off the floppy hat look as well as any sorority (or eating house) girls we know. A triumphant Zimmerman, a down to business Chappel, and a host of other sturdy gentlemen escorted their more wobbly counterparts over the mud to busses where upon everyone, following the trend, slept like babies.

The Phi Delt Experience (as told by Mariah Sanguinetti)

Let’s just say that having gone all four years now, when it comes to Carolina Cup, this is not my first rodeo. However, this past year it was my first time going to Carolina Cup with Phi Delt. Upon entering the Phi Delta Theta house fashionably late, strolling in at the ungodly hour of 7:30 AM, I was greeted with the Fraternity Special traditional Carolina Cup morning breakfast spread of bagels, shmear, *sparkling* orange juice, and other beverages paired with that pleasantly deafening blast of country music. As a self-proclaimed professional Carolina Cup attendee, I was feeling confident that this year’s Cup would not disappoint despite the unfavorable weather forecast and the absence of some key Phi-Delt players who were MIA on a second spring break/the flu/who knows. I was also bringing two friends from high school in tow so the pressure was on to show them a good time. Their first reaction was, “do you guys really pregame to gospel music?” Good question. “In the Sanctuary” is not only a popular gospel tune, but also a Phi Delta Theta favorite for pump-up jams. My friends were not the only strangers in the building: the gentleman of PDT were also kind enough to host some gal pals they bonded with on Spring Break as well as an assortment of other southern sorority chicks. The more the merrier, am I right ladies!? Our Carolina Cup was so damn blessed to feature ZERO signs of severe t-storms like my weather.com app had rudely predicted. Despite the mud, I am happy to say that my time spent at the PDT tent was a wonderful final Carolina Cup, with an abundance of music, refreshments, and women posted up on the to top of a pick-up truck. Photo (left) credit Mariah Sanguinetti.

The FIJI Experience (as told by Emily Rapport)

It was Fiji’s first trip to Carolina Cup, and the excitement grew over pancakes, eggs, and bacon at the house, where we learned that our tent was next to Alabama’s SAE chapter. Could we handle that level of SEC frattiness? We made good time to Camden, but had a hard time getting the party started when the truck containing our refreshments and entertainment was stuck at the gate. It didn’t take long before the party was in full-swing (just ask Hunter), and the corn hole set up gave our tent a laid-back vibe. When it was time to go, our final song selection (“Wagon Wheel,” what else?) sent Matt Gore’s trunk bouncing up and down in the muddy field. The day ended on the bus with a huge round of applause for Thomas Hall, social chair and true pioneer, before we all fell miraculously asleep. 

The KSig Experience (as told by Mary Click)

Kappa Sig takes Carolina Cup very seriously, so a sleepy but excited group arrived at the house around 6:00 AM. Everyone was surprised to see that there actually were bagels, despite lots of warnings that they would probably forget the food. An hour later the big crowd (nice job, Kappa Sig!) boarded two large buses and we were off. We made a pit stop at a small gas station halfway to Camden and locals gaped as thirty college kids in bow ties and sunhats overwhelmed the cash register. Our tent was directly next to the Sig Ep and KA Davidson tents, so the day was not unlike a very formal Frolics. As the fun progressed, one Kappa Sig senior in his fourth and last year at the Cup asked, “There’s a horse race here?” The bus ride home began with a spontaneous a-cappella rendition of “Landslide” by the senior girls that was followed by a well-earned nap all the way back to campus.                              

The SAE Experience (as told by Katharine Kendall)

Everyone showed up at SAE for another one of their famous Carolina Cup trips ready to go with their rain boots on around 6:30, and after a few delays, we made it to Camden around 10:00 AM. Despite the music not working on the bus and the traffic getting to the race rack, everyone was really excited to get to the field and catch a glimpse at the races, which we did because our tent was so close to the track. Our tent was also in between some really fun groups from other schools and the other Davidson tents, so my friends and I spent most of the day hopping around and swiping food from everybody (Sorry about all the Bojangle’s I took, KA!). But there was also country music and a mountain of fried chicken at SAE, and everyone had a great time just hanging out and trying to see the horses—shout out to Sam Riehl for sharing in my enthusiasm at seeing one. We conveniently loaded into our “Christian Tours” bus just as the first raindrops of the day began to fall, settling in for much needed naps on the bus ride back to Davidson.

Josephine is a senior English major from Massachusetts. She is the Marketing and Publicity Director for Her Campus at Davidson, a member of Connor House, and runs the Instagram account @cheeeesefries in her free time.
A little obsessive about food blogs, books, Netflix, running, and obviously sleeping. It's not what you do, I say, but how you do it.
a sassy south carolinian who prefers bulldogs to people
The worlds only Ginger Latina (to my knowledge).
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