You don’t have to be a horse person to enjoy a weekend that’s as well-known for flowing champagne and socializing as it is for actual horse racing. The Charleston Cup Steeplechase, which combines the speed of flat racing with the danger of jumping, is an exhilarating sight, sure, but it’s also one of the biggest parties around. “This is one of the year’s best tailgating experiences for Charleston. Period. The sheer volume of people we can manage to bring in is unrivaled, which only adds to the grandeur of the Cup,” says Race Director Karl McMillan. The weekend will kick off with the black-tie Charleston Cup Ball on Friday night, which will include live music, an open bar, great food, and a special race preview. It all leads up to race day on Sunday, when the fun really begins. Gates open at 9 a.m. with paddock call at noon. Make sure you get there early because once the races start, access to the infield will be limited. And if you’re a bettin’ man — or woman — bring your lucky charms.