It's nearly the time of year when well-heeled women, who are not invitees to royal weddings, will unabashedly don enormously elaborate hats adorned with peacock feathers, giant flowers, tulle and any other flamboyant embellishment they can dream up.
The 2013 Kentucky Derby is May 4 and couture milliners and DIYers are working overtime getting their fashion statements ready for the biggest horse race of the year, which has also become one of the world's most fashionable venues.
But you don't have to take a road trip to Churchill Downs in Louisville to get in on the fun and fashion.
Remington Park Racetrack Casino will have its own “Run for the Roses” celebration including simulcast racing of the Churchill Downs racing and a Kentucky Derby Hat Contest and Tea.
The Hat Contest and Tea are free and will be held on the Clubhouse Level at Remington Park from 4 to 6 p.m. This will be the eighth annual Hat Contest and Tea at Remington Park. Shelley Steger, special events coordinator at Remington Park, said that each year has seen more entrants and more and more spectacular hats and outfits.
“A lot of women will dress in the whole ensemble like a period piece with a parasol, little purses, corset outfits, they're pretty amazing,” Steger said.
Because period pieces have been popular, Steger said a new category has been added to this year's Hat Contest. The categories are Most Creative, Most Elegant, Best Ensemble and Best Period Piece. For each category, first, second and third place winners will receive cash prizes of $150, $125 and $100, respectively. Also, overall winners will be chosen with prizes of $500, $300 and $200.
“We have a lot of winners,” Steger said. “We're trying to make them feel like they're at the actual Kentucky Derby.”
Tea and hors d' oeuvres will be served and entry to the contest and tea party is free.
The Red Hat ladies are sure to be at the yearly event in full regalia, Steger said. Many women who enter the contest buy their hats from milliners who specialize in Derby hats, and some will make their own.
Everyone who enters the hat contest will also have a chance to win an original Fashion at the Races hat.
To enter, go to the Clubhouse Level at Remington Park. A photographer will take a photo of you in your hat and you'll get a copy as a souvenir.
The Kentucky Derby runs about 5:25, Steger said, and women entering the contest are welcome to stay at the tea party until the Hat Contest winners are announced at 6 p.m. For information, go online to www.remingtonpark.com/KentuckyDerby or call 424-1000.