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Expect delays if traveling to and from Spring Steeplechase on Saturday

March 22, 2019

More than 30,000 people have attended the Aiken Spring Steeplechase in the past, and another big crowd is expected for Saturday’s 53rd edition.

That means traffic will be heavy in the area around the Aiken Horse Park Foundation’s Bruce’s Field, where the Spring Steeplechase will be held.

Gates will open at 9 a.m., and the post time for the first of the six horse races will be 1 p.m.

Jessica Miller, event coordinator for the Aiken Steeplechase Association, said the peak arrival time for spectators and their vehicles probably will be between 11:30 a.m. and 12:15 p.m.

The post time for the last race will be 4 p.m.

“Unless you are attending the event, we recommend that you avoid Powderhouse Road, Two Notch Road and Audubon Drive,” said Lt. Jake Mahoney of the Aiken Department of Public Safety.

He also offered some advice for those traveling to Bruce’s Field for the Spring Steeplechase.

Even though Public Safety officers, “will be controlling and directing traffic before, during and after the event,” Mahoney said, drivers should “plan for delays, expect them and be patient. We also urge motorists to be vigilant and keep an eye out for pedestrians. A significant amount of people park nearby and walk to Bruce’s Field.”

There are three color-coded entrance gates for patrons – Red, Blue and Green – to Bruce’s Field.

The Red and Blue Gates are on Audubon Drive, and the Green Gate is on Powderhouse Road.

Patrons entering through the Red Gate can approach from either the north or south on Two Notch Road before heading east on Audubon.

Attendees entering through the Blue Gate should turn onto Powderhouse Road from South Boundary Avenue and then go west on Audubon.

Patrons entering through the Green Gate should approach from East Pine Long Road and then head north on Powderhouse.

Attendees parking at the Powderhouse Polo Field also should approach from East Pine Log and then go north on Powderhouse.

“Obviously, the Spring Steeplechase is a very social event, and the consumption of alcohol is permitted,” Mahoney said. “If you choose to partake, please don’t drink and drive afterward. Have a designated driver, use Uber or call a cab. All alcohol should be disposed of before you exit Bruce’s Field.”

Aiken County Sheriff’s Office personnel will be on duty at Bruce’s Field.

“We want people to have a good time, but we also want them to be responsible, especially with alcohol,” said Capt. Nick Gallum of the Sheriff’s Office. “We will have a zero tolerance policy for underage drinking, and we’ll also have a zero tolerance policy for disorderly conduct. We want to make sure the event is a good event, and we’ll be there to enforce any laws.”

The National Weather Service in Columbia’s forecast for Saturday is calling for sunny skies and a high temperature near 67 degrees.

Bruce’s Field’s address is 931 Powderhouse Road S.E.