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Melbourne Cup Carnival 2020 – The great tradition celebrated from your home! – Part 1

Hats, champagne flutes, masks, and sanitisers at the ready, get primed to celebrate the long-standing iconic Australian tradition that is, The Melbourne Cup Carnival!

The four days of racing that constitute the Melbourne Cup Carnival has long cemented its reputation globally as an event that celebrates the highest quality of thoroughbred racing and also as a spectacularly grand party.

Despite the pandemonium caused globally by COVID-19, proud Melburnians and all Australians alike will sigh with collective relief and enthusiastic anticipation that our beloved Carnival is not cancelled in its entirety. 

Our eyes and spirits will turn towards the venerated home of the Carnival, Flemington Racecourse, and our equally venerated hosts, The Victoria Racing Club in particular on the first Tuesday of November for the 160th running of the prestigious Lexus Melbourne Cup, affectionately monikered – ‘The Race that Stops the Nation.’

2020 sees great practice in the oft-repeated mantra; ‘Reimagine! Rethink! Rework!  This definitely manifested with the Melbourne Cup Carnival which the VRC bills as ‘The Race that Restarts the Nation!’ 

Kudos to the VRC who have promised four days of super racing, a coterie of entertainment, and interactive activities to help make this Carnival as enjoyable as possible. See all the details at the VRC’s newly created 2020 Melbourne Cup Carnival Official Website!

This year will witness many Carnival and racing aficionados join the celebrations from their own homes

For us Melburnians in particular, after a long hiatus, it will be the ideal opportunity to break out your racing finery, gather family or best friends, practice the customary ‘l’arte del mangia e bevande bene’ (the art of eating and drinking well) and stream world-class racing whilst deciding to have or not have a flutter.

All one really needs to join the party are to grasp following points:

●     The traditions of the four days of racing that make up the Melbourne Cup Carnival

●     A novice understanding of racing 

●     What to wear

●     What to eat and drink 

●     A few theming ideas

●     A permitted guestlist: Check the DHHS website for official advice 

●     And a great sense of joie de vivre

Over the next few days, together with friends and experts, Melbourne My Style offers you the ultimate ‘How to Celebrate your 2020 Melbourne Cup Carnival @ Home!’


The four days of first-class racing that comprise the Melbourne Cup Carnival are:

●    AAMI VICTORIA DERBY: Saturday 31, October 

●     LEXUS MELBOURNE CUP DAY: Tuesday, 3 November 


●     SEPPELT WINES STAKES DAY: Saturday, 7 November

Each of the four days has inherent traditions, dress codes and social customs that have been duly observed which adds to the appeal and glamour that is associated with the Carnival.

For those that may be unaware here’s a little snapshot:


●     Flower: Cornflower

●     Dress code: Think monochronic elegance, structured black and white ensembles, morning suits, and top hats for the dapper gents amongst us

●     Mood: Restrained Sophistication and Timeless Glamour!


●     Flower: Yellow Rose

●     Dress code: Fabulous, frivolous, fun, and oodles of colour but with a grand modicum of style and panache

●     Mood: Party! Party! Party!


●     Flower: Pink Rose

●     Dress code: Its Ladies Days (though some might argue it has become “Bl’Oaks Day” so feminine grace, flirty frocks, and ensembles to peacock in are the order of the day.

●     Mood: Flighty and Flirty!


●     Flower: Red Rose

●     Dress code: The final day of the Carnival is also Family Day and calls for relaxed and pared back formal day wear with a touch of bucolic charm.

●     Mood: Relax, Soak in the fun and Enjoy! 

The Melbourne My Style Team hope our tips will inspire you to celebrate the 2020 Melbourne Cup Carnival with as much aplomb and joy that you can muster. We may not be trackside, but thankfully, with our @ Home celebrations, we have the best chance to continue this great longstanding sporting and event tradition! Stay tuned for more…..!

Happy Carnival & Happy Racing!

By Shiva Singam

Photography by Toby Sullivan – Cover Photo features Jessie Murphy

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