Preparations for the Vodacom Durban July horse-racing event. Zanele Zulu African News Agency (ANA)
The picnic site is where the action is at the Vodacom Durban July. 

For those who haven’t received an invite to a marquee at Africa’s greatest horse racing event, you might want to carry out research on the picnic sites on offer. 

The picnic sites are located close to the horse-racing action and great for people who want to have fun in an informal setting. 

Nellie Mhlongo, of Event World, said there were five picnic sites – Royal, Lakeside, Nursery, Grandstand and Saddles for visitors.

Prices range from R1 475 to R8 285, depending on the number of people and what you want included at your site. The price excludes entrance or parking tickets.

Mhlongo said 90% of the picnic sites had been sold out – and those who did not get picnic sites this year had put their names on a waiting list for next year’s event.

“Picnic sites are fast gaining popularity. Not only are they affordable and groups of visitors can split the cost, but they also offer you a front row seat to the horse-racing action and the atmosphere.

“The picnic site allows you to decorate your space as you wish. You can book more than one picnic site next to another, and we will open them up into one site,” she said.

Mhlongo said instead of visitors staying inside the marquees “to get value for their money”, the picnic sites allowed people to explore the event’s offerings, from entertainment, fashion shows and even a selfie with a celeb parading their designer ensemble.

They can also relax at the Lakes Lifestyle Village, a public area situated on the golf course - with pop-up restaurants and bars, and tote betting facilities, which can be accessed with your general entrance ticket.

The area is focused around the main event stage and will feature fashion, racing and entertainment.