Fancy Hats In Saratoga Springs
Hats In Saratoga Springs NY – A Victorian Racing Tradition!
In keeping with its Victorian roots, Saratoga Springs NY embraces the well-known tradition of wearing fancy and elegant hats to the races.
Saratoga Race Course is the oldest thoroughbred track in the nation, with a prestigious racing history dating to the 1800’s. As you would expect however, in keeping with the fun and excitement of Saratoga Springs, when it comes to hats, “fancy” is in the eye of the beholder!
First-time visitors to the track are eager to absorb the Victorian splendor of Saratoga and the elegant turn-of the-century feelings that it evokes. They may be surprised to observe that among the many gracious hats with elegant plumes or tulle worn by lovely ladies, they may see a scaled-down version of an antique carousel gracing the top of one track-goer's head instead!
Perhaps a sculpture of a brightly colored polo pony looks down from atop the curly locks of a well-dressed 8-year old…or a model of the Saratoga Race Track carefully recreated (right down to the signature Clubhouse roof) perches precariously on the top of an elderly patron’s updo!
Wealthy socialite and racing enthusiast Marylou Whitney is the grand dame of the Saratoga racing scene – affectionately nicknamed the Queen of Saratoga. Whitney believes hats are as much a part of the racing tradition as the horses themselves. She has wholeheartedly embraced the fun and playful theme of the Saratoga Hat Contest in July where she is present as the great and the gracious hats are judged right alongside the farfetched and the fanciful!
The Saratoga Hat Contest takes place during the annual Hats Off to Saratoga Festival, which takes place July 19 -21 this year. This community celebration is the highlight of opening weekend and includes a music festival with Jazz, Bluegrass, Classical, Folk, Country, Latin, Cajun and Dixieland artists. Learn more »
Contestants range in age from children to adults, long-time racing fans to first-time visitors. Entrants consistently delight onlookers and judges with creations that range from the most elaborate and outrageous, to simple and inspired designs. The Saratoga Hat Contest is a fun and light-hearted summer event in Spa City!