It's that time of the year when Durban's top line sport and social cohesion export - the glamour and glitz of the Vodacom Durban July - gets into its right royal stride on Saturday.
The famous hub of horseracing - Greyville Racecourse - will be home to 50 000 racegoers, punters, pundits, revellers and fashionistas, and of course, the country's finest fillies are showcased for their thoroughbred racing prowess and passion on the straights of the betting world.
It's the gathering of the July People - the rainbow nation's daring display of demographics, people of colour, rubbing shoulders, sharing bear hugs, kissing and not telling, exchanging comradely handshakes, clinking glasses of cocktails, champagne, dram while forging new friendships and romances, striking deals in a multicultural melting pot of fun, feasting and festivities from dawn to the darkest dusk.
For the seasoned patrons, pundits and punters, it's nostalgia with the high-stakes affair clocking 120 years as the 18 thoroughbreds parade with colours and livery before storming down the home straights for a crack at the R4,5 million golden graille.
Having straddled the beaten track of this rollercoaster journey of social ebb and flow, lows and highs, passion and pain of the madding crowd, the gathering of the clans of cultures from classy to the classless can be classified as the 'different strokes for different people'.
It's a wildfire winter's tale of extraordinary expectations when the moneyed, high-heeled society brushes head on into the middle of the working class. The political royalty does the traditional wave to standing ovations. The nouveau riche mix and mingle with the generation gap of the new elite. The tenderpreneurs are toasted and cocooned in comfortable corporate suites where gate-crushers are shown the door. The rank-and-file have a ball in their self-catered quadrangles with family and friends.
Fine food and beverages top the cuisine cards, Chefs are cooking up a storm.
The bets are even handed, a roulette of old money versus new money, as punters pitch for a winning hand on the cards with bookmakers.
Amid the trumpeting, thumping and thudding of hooves and feet, you have to put your best foot forward to stay on top of your game.
From Sea Cottage to Ipe Tombe, Dancer's Daughter to Pocket Power, this iconic event has been Flaming Rock. From Syd Laird, Robbie Sivewright, S'manga Khumalo, how the legends of the Last Outpost has changed in a dozen decades.
Wager on an exotic bet, hit the board, let your hair down, raise a glass, but keep your feet on the ground and take a cab home.