Our Vancouver contributor Joshua Langston heads to BIG SMOKE, the launch party for Vancouver’s weekend at the races.


by Joshua Langston

Joshua with Miss America Laura Kaelleger

After what seemed like years of waiting, finally the weekend at the races was upon us. On Friday night I was invited to BIG SMOKE, an exclusive VIP gathering to kick off The Deighton cup. The event was inspired by a ‘Smoker’ which is a traditional southern gentleman’s event complete with a pig roast, cigars and a bourbon bar featuring Woodford Reserve’s finest bourbons.  Graham Racich was on site crafting cocktails for all of the ladies.

Truth be told, I have never been to an event like this before.  That being said, Southern food is something I am all too familiar with. Upon entering the venue the team from “Cocktails and Canapes” were preparing the roast.  As I walked past I was immediately taken over by the smells wafting through the air.

To properly get into character for this event, I ran into my friend Mark Featherstone who passed me a cigar, and with a little help, I was lit and ready to take on the night. The event produced by The Adelphia Group, The Social Concierge and Cocktails & Canapés.  It was a breath of fresh air, and yes that pun was fully intended. The Adelphia Group is a full service hospitality, management and event group, boasting some of the hottest clubs, restaurant and catering in Vancouver. With the help of the team at LJ-PR, a top Vancouver boutique PR agency run by fashion publicist Lyndi Barrett, the racetrack was a blaze with inspiring fashion.

Lyndi of Lj PR with Miss America

My photographer KUNA and I were introduced to Laura Kaeppeler, aka the current reigning Miss America.  She arrived with Marcy Bowen of The Miss America Foundation and Tammy Sopata from Joseph Ribkoff. Laura was wearing a fabulous black sheath dress with hot pink detailing by Joseph Ribkoff.  Joseph Rbkoff is a Canadian label that has been bringing Canadian-made fashion to the fore front for over 30 years. I must say, Laura was even more lovely in person than when I saw her win the Miss America pageant. We briefly spoke about her travels and the lovely time she was having in Vancouver, one of her highlights being biking through stanley park.
As the night continued on with several Woodford Reserve’s bourbons and cigars,  I watched the races and became even more excited for the main event the following day, The Deighton Cup.  Over the next few hours, I placed a few bets on horses and mingled among the well dressed crowd. I must say I was equally shocked and AMAZED by the fashions of the night. The men of Vancouver really stepped it up.  They all sartorially put their looks together and avoided buying the pre-packaged shirt and tie combos available at most department stores.  It was an extremely dapper crowd.
Auto One leasing had a fleet of luxury vehicles lining the entrance and I became quite smitten with one that had a custom paint job to look like a suit.  It was AMAZING.
Miss America Laura Kaeppeler 
Thank you once again to the event producers, sponsors and crowd for taking the opportunity to not only celebrate fashion, but all the whimsey Vancouver has to offer.  Until next time… xx Joshua
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Vancouver contributor JOSHUA LANGSTON
Vancouver photographer KUNA PHOTOGRAPHY
Photo credit: KUNA Photography