Words by, Igee Okafor
Photography by, Emily Byrski
As an outsider looking in, there is a picture that Veuve Clicquot's annual Polo Classic event exudes - Fancy characters dressed up in well polished attire gathered in one place for two reasons; to watch a polo match, and to drink Veuve Clicquot.
While this assessment isn't far from the truth, there is also a vibe to the event that makes it appealing enough to want to attend. Perhaps its the allure of day drinking, getting dressed up, the beautiful photo opportunities, the socializing, or the love for horses. Whatever the motive may be, it is no lie that all the Polo Classic is, is an event that requires people to drink, and be gleeful in every way possible - to heighten a wonderful time watching polo and listening to good music.
The 10th Anniversary of the event took place last weekend at Liberty State Park in New Jersey. From sightings of the most beautiful floral decorations, to Alicia Key's performance and Nacho Figueras's rounds of high fives, the Polo Classic can be labeled as the event that marks the beginning of summer - easily.
An abiding revision of the event extends below:
One must be 21+ years of age to be able to purchase tickets. I.D will asked for on site.
There are two main types of tickets you can get for the event. General admission & the Rose Garden VIP.
I recommend the Rose Garden tickets. Even though its a bit of a splurge, I say it's worth the experience. Rose Garden tickets allowed for an elevated experience for the attendee. Complimentary offerings included: a bottle of Veuve Clicquot Rose, a gourmet lunch, priority transportation access, and a great view of the match from a beautifully decorated open lounge seating area. Only attendees with Rose Garden wristbands were allowed into the Rose Garden and security strictly enforced this rule.
General admission tickets are good too. Tickets allow for transportation to and from the event. Lawn seating is also an option on a first come first serve basis. Walking into event, you'll see that the GA section is full of creative photo opportunities with features of branded decor and space to create pleasant picnic setups. Nothing is complimentary with this ticket. Food and drinks have to be brought or bought at the location.
On Transportation To and From The Venue
The event was held at Liberty State Park in New Jersey. The event makes it so that the only transportation systems are the shuttles and the ferries. For residents of New York, the ferry departed from and returned to Battery Park. For residents of New Jersey, shuttles were attainable via The Liberty Science center.
Show up early. You want to get there on time to relax and take in the venue for photographs or perspective before everyone else gets there. There are a little over 9,000 people who attend these events. It gets crowded later in the day.
Aside from fashion week, I don't believe I have attended an event where almost everyone was dressed to perfection. The unannounced theme was in full effect. There was a variety of representation as it pertains to personal style influences. A lot of color, a lot of accessorizing. Anything from casual wear to illustrious hats were showcased, as well as full on variations of suiting and beyond - very elaborate. It was truly visually stimulating and exciting to say the least.
As seen in the photographs above, I wore a Made To Measure suit from Institchu. Being that it was my first time attending the event, I wanted to keep things clean and simplistic. I definitely had ideas to commit to more of a 20's look - boater hat and all but perhaps, next year. Otherwise, a lightweight two piece suit with a nice shirt and a pair of loafers will do.
On Food and Drinks
Attendees were allowed to bring snacks to the event. There were also food trucks with a range of food options on site. Neapolitan Pizza was a crowd favorite. Alcoholic beverages weren't permitted. People with general admission tickets had the option to purchase Veuve Clicquot on site and Rose Garden ticket holders were able to receive a complimentary bottle of Rose alongside one gourmet meal. I tried the Grilled Beef Tenderloin with citrus and spring herb gremolata, pickled watermelon radish, and watercress. Very filling and very delicious.
There was also a notecard given with the meal to receive complimentary dessert. The choices were Fresh Berry Parfait and a sour cheery and almond hand pie.
There was a section close to the Rose Garden for celebrities and 'it' personalities. Every year, this section is made up of a carefully curated list of people making it impossible to buy your way in. In attendance were Neil Patrick Harris, Alicia Keys, Lucy Hale, Kendall Jenner, Priyanka Chopra and more. Alicia Keys delivered a high energy performance to the VIP attendees to close the event. As an admirer of her music, I was impressed.
The #FendiRoadTrip pop up truck shop was live at the Rose Garden. The truck was full of Fendi accessories for attendees to shop and enjoy. The selections seemed to be geared towards women mostly but overall, it was a great visual collection of goods.
On Meeting People
Most people who attend the Polo Classic are looking to have a great time and part of that is being open to meeting new people. Feel free to compliment anyone or carry on a chat as you please. Most are friendly.
Highly Recommended Polo Classic Essentials
Sunscreen, Sealed Water Bottles, Snacks, Picnic Blankets, Camera, Comfortable Shoes, Sunglasses.
Thank you for reading!