Hat Day at Saratoga

One of the things we love about Saratoga -- it's one of the few places left where you can still wear a hat. Not just a baseball cap or beret or something -- but an honest-to-god fancy hat. You see people sporting them all season long at the racecourse, but never more than on opening weekend.

Yesterday 175 people sported their millinery masterpieces both home made and store-bought, for the 20th annual Saratoga Hat Contest. The place was crazy with fun hats, and we got to join Steve Ammerman, Kristi G. and Ellen Z from WPYX in the judges box.

The hats ranged from "that's lovely" to, "hey, neat" to "whoa! look at that!" to "Wow -- they've got a lot of extra time on their hands."

Here's a little of what we saw:

People showed off their hats in three categories, Creative Kids, Fashionable hats and the whimsical "Uniquely Saratoga" category.

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Fellow judges Ellen Z, Kristi Gustafson Barlette and Steve Ammerman

Creative Kids

So. Much. Cuteness.

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2nd Place

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3rd place

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Fancy Hats

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1st Place in the Fashionable Hat Contest went to Kim Brooking of Saratoga, who picked up this Holly Golightly fabulous number (above) at Frivolous in Saratoga.

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2nd Place

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Uniquely Saratoga

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The Winners

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The first place winners, Anne Marie Mitchell of Stillwater and Debbie Lurie of New City, had matching hats that included working fountains. The water pumps were hidden in their purses. Last year they won 3rd place in the contest. This year, they were determined to win first.

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Second place went to Albany's Joan Yanni, whose hat celebrated 20 years of hats with a cake and champagne.

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3rd place was created by Carol Slezak of Amsterdam. The Front (above) shows the horse and jockey coming toward you. And the back, (below) shows the rear view.

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The garden hat was one of our favorites, even though it didn't place. It sported real moss in the garden, and a horse on top with a mane made with hair from the family's alpaca.

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Another one of our favorites, a last minute entry with a pink sheet.

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