Plenty of colour amid the flutter

THERE is a lot of colour at the Launceston Cup.

There's colour in the crowds.

There's colour on the track.

Occasionally, there's colour in the language.

And after a balmy end-of-summer-day like yesterday, I'll bet there's a lot of colour in the skin of attendees, too.

One approaches their first Launceston Cup with a certain amount of trepidation.

The most popular and favourite images are taken at the end of the day: women dragging by hand shoes and beaus, and men vomiting on the kerb.

That was my uneducated impression of the cup anyway.

And how good it is to be wrong. 

Gents and dames were dressed to the nines and flooded through the gates early.

A special occasion for couples, friends and family, you were all too eager to have your photo taken - and what a beautiful way to mark the 150th anniversary of such an event.

It was easy to spot the novices from the experts.

The experts came armed with two pairs of shoes (in the women's case), picnic rugs, deck chairs and recliners.

Then there were the ``Real Experts'', the ones who have made enjoying the cup a sport of its own.

Wandering through the marquee area is like travelling to another land or time.

Tables groaned under platters of petit fours and pastries.

There were elaborate decorations of fresh flowers, pearls, juice fountains - I swear I even saw a live unicorn somewhere.

I found a group of five girlfriends and their partners who have had the same position for 30 years.

The cup brings people together, keeps them together and creates tradition.

Speaking of tradition and segues, the Fashions on the Field entrants had to be seen to be believed.

Entrants cut a silhouette against the blue sky with their towering hats, fascinators and the ever tongue-tying ``hattinator''.

Speaking to entrants, their ``look'' was months in the making.

It was not uncommon for the entrants to have crafted their own frocks and headpieces by hand.

It would be great to see this as a separate event one day.

All in all - the cup is what you make it.

If you look for the colour, there's a lot to see.

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