Aiken hasn't quite escaped the chilly weather yet, as the first leg of the Aiken Triple Crown gallops into the weekend.
Aiken Trials schedule
Gates open: 10 a.m.
Vendors and concessions open: 11 a.m.
Tent party: 11 a.m.
Opening ceremonies and Carriage Parade: 1 p.m.
Races begin: 2 p.m.
The Aiken Trials will officially open its gates on Saturday at 10 a.m., and spectators may want to pack an extra jacket for a casual day of tailgating and horse racing.
Temperatures aren't going to be too out of sorts for the remainder of March, with little to no rain forecast early on into the weekend, according to Forecast Meteorologist Chris Liscinsky with the National Weather Service in Columbia.
“Friday afternoon is expected to remain dry with afternoon temperatures in the mid 60s, or 65 degrees,” Liscinsky said. “Looks like, by Saturday morning, there will be generally low temperatures, about 42 degrees. But by Saturday afternoon, it should warm up a little and hit about 70 degrees.”
Though temperatures will warm up, the sky will appear a bit cloudy during the Aiken Trials, he said.
Saturday's forecast calls for clouds and a low in the high 40s with a 10 percent chance of rain.
Sunday will be slightly cooler with a high in the high 50s, a low in the low 40s and a 70 percent chance of rain.
“There is a cold front pushing through Sunday, so things will cool down,” Liscinsky said. “There will be cooler weather heading into Monday, as well.”
Monday's forecast calls for a high in the mid 50s, a low in the low 30s and a 30 percent chance of rain.
March always brings fluctuating temperatures, so it's no wonder temperatures appear both cool and hot throughout the month, Liscinsky said.
“We're definitely going to have some more cool spells here and there,” Liscinsky said. “But by the end of the month into April, we can start to put winter behind us.”
The 72nd Running of the Aiken Trials will be held at the Aiken Training Track, located at 538 Two Notch Road.
The second and third legs of the Aiken Triple Crown will be Aiken Spring Steeplechase on March 22 and Pacers & Polo on March 29.
For more Aiken Trials information and ticket prices, visit www.aikentrials.com or call 803-648-4631.
Maayan Schechter is the local government reporter with Aiken Standard. An Atlanta native, she has a mass communications-journalism degree from the University of North Carolina Asheville Follow her on Twitter @MaayanSchechter.