SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Hundreds of contestants will don creative and fashionable millinery to compete in what has become a staple of opening weekend at Saratoga Race Course: the Hat Contest on Sunday, July 20 – now in its 23rd year and presented for the first time by Lord & Taylor.
Registration for the Hat Contest will begin at noon under the Saratoga grandstand. The competition will take place after the second, third and fourth races on the track apron when contestants parade in front of the judges for the chance to win a variety of Saratoga Race Course prizes. Participants are invited to compete in three distinct categories: Uniquely Saratoga; Fashionably Saratoga; and Kreative Kids.
Kreative Kids marks the first category of the afternoon and is reserved for those 18 and under. Participants will vie for the first place prize of a Saratoga Race Course-themed chocolate bar. Second and third place winners will receive various Saratoga Race Course merchandise.
The Fashionably Saratoga category invites contestants to don elegant and stylish hats after the third race. The first place winner will receive a silver trophy frame and a $100 gift certificate to Lord & Taylor. The second and third place winners will receive $75 and $25 Lord & Taylor gift certificates, respectively.
Following the fourth race, the most original artisans will compete in the Uniquely Saratoga category. The first place winner will receive a silver trophy frame and a $100 gift certificate to Lord & Taylor. The second and third place winners will receive $75 and $25 Lord & Taylor gift certificates, respectively.
The Hat Contest is one element of a season-long partnership with Lord & Taylor, which also includes the all-new Lord & Taylor Fashion Saturdays at Saratoga Race Course. Lord & Taylor will host a pop-up shop at the Saratoga Pavilion each Saturday of the meet from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Additionally, each Saturday, track patrons will be invited to dress their best for the chance to be crowned Most Fashionable at Saratoga. Two winners every week will each receive a $250 Lord & Taylor gift card and have the opportunity to present a trophy in the winner’s circle.
The opening Sunday of the Saratoga season will also include the first giveaway – a Saratoga baseball cap, free with paid admission, while supplies last, sponsored by Saratoga Casino & Raceway. Track patrons will also enjoy the 2014 debut of Taste NY: Food and Artisans, where guests can sample and shop from approximately 19 vendors offering products made exclusively in New York. Additionally, Sunday will feature the running of the Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks at Saratoga Race Course.
Opening weekend marks the return of the annual Hats Off to Saratoga Festival, presented by The Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce and The New York Racing Association. The downtown music festival celebrates the arrival of the summer racing season with live performances along Broadway in downtown Saratoga Springs on Friday, July 18 and Saturday, July 19.