Thursday, July 17th, 2014   ( 4 years ago )

The 20th Anniversary Opening Day Hats Contest

Del Mar’s Thursday opening featured the 20th anniversary edition of the now-famous Opening Day Hats Contest. A picture perfect day attracted 332 entrees to the contest which featured a Grand Prize of a Five-Star Getaway at The Grand Del Mar valued at $1,500 and a $500 Village Hat Shop Gift Certificate. First place winner in each category received $300 and a $100 certificate to Studio Savvy in Rancho Santa Fe. Second-place winners receive $200 and third-place winners receive $100.


The Funniest/Most Outrageous category went to Belinda Berry who travelled from Walnut Creek. Berry, who travelled along way, was rewarded when judges voted her the Bing Crosby Grand Prize. Berry wore an oversize wide-brimmed navy blue polka dot hat trimmed with ostrich feathers with a matching dress.  In second place was Tessa Robeson of Escondido. Tessa created a buried treasure-themed hat with two skeletons, a horse, feathers and lace framing her face. In third place was Claudia Hapeman of San Marcos with a wildly created mirrored black and white hat filled with flowers. Her black and white outfit complemented the hat.

Most Glamorous proved the most popular category, as ever, drawing the most entries. Natalie Spaans of El Cajon won the day with a stunning off-white hat dramatically trimmed with feathers and flowers trailing down her shoulders and back. Her dress featured a beaded bodice. In second place was Kayla Carnevale of San Diego, with a pink and white hat trimmed with feathers and flowers. Her white dress and pink purse completed the outfit. In third place was Joanna Kayla of Everett, Washington, with a lovely white hat with red polka dots and red flowers and a form-fitting red dress.

The Best Flowers category was won by fan favorite Lori Shelton. Lori Shelton’s large red hat featured photos of the 18 hats she had entered in previous years. Lori, of San Diego, won the Grand Prize in 2007. Lori wore a matching red dress and a sash reading “Celebrating 20 Year of Hats.”  Emily Winters of Carlsbad took second place. Emily wore a demure pink hat and matching dress with opera-length gloves. Her hat was trimmed with delicate branches of pink artificial cherry blossoms as well as other flower. In third place was Virgina Exner of Lemon Grove. Virginia wore a white hat featuring a pink and red floral garden with green feathers.


The Best Fascinator category, begun in 2012, proved popular drawing the third-highest number of entries after Most Glamorous and Best Flowers/All Others. Melissa Cheng of Carlsbad won first prize with a dramatic feathered fascinator she purchased in New York. Second place in the Best Fascinator went to Crystal Larson-Loonie. Crystal wore a white cotton sun dress with hot pink trim at the waist. Her fascinator was trimmed with hot pink and lime green to complement her dress. In third place was Heather Hall of San Diego. Heather’s fascinator was trimmed with peacock feathers.

Best racing theme attracted 2006 Grand Prize winner Randy Wilson, of Monrovia, back for another try at the big title. Randy finished first in the category with a large model of the starting gates and the grandstand and a hot air balloon in Del Mar signature colors, blue and yellow. In second-place was Richard Polacek of Rancho Santa Fe. Richard’s over-sized hat featured a betting window and racing horses which moved around the hat, shaped like a horseshoe. In third place was Mikey Johnson with a large hat in Del Mar’s signature blue and yellow colors. Mikeyls hat featured a blue satin hot air balloon with “Cool as Even” and a horse.


 For Information: Julie Sarno-619-957-0465