DEL MAR - The 77th season of horse racing at the Del Mar Racetrack will kick off July 17 with the ever-popular hat contest, an annual tradition since Bing Crosby greeted the track's first fans in 1937.
The 'One and Only Truly Fabulous Hat Contest' - showcasing the most elaborate and eye-catching chapeaus - is a crowd favorite. Even if they don't participate in the contest, the majority of the crowd wears a hat on Opening Day at the racetrack.
And this year, the track will debut a new, wider turf course that will accommodate more horses.
The new track also makes the Del Mar Racetrack eligible to host the prestigious Breeder's Cup World Championship, which will be held in Del Mar in 2017 for the first time in the races' 30-year history.
TOP 5 TIPS IF YOU PLAN TO GO
- If you're driving there, go early because the traffic gets crazy.
- Or you can take the Coaster and catch the free double-decker shuttle bus.
- Ladies - stuff a pair of flip-flops or flats in your purse because at some point your feet may start hurting.
- Bring sun block.
- If you're the betting type - avoid the lines by downloading the mobile app and placing bets right. from your phone.
PLANNING YOUR DAY
FUN STUFF ON THE CALENDAR
- Craft Beer Festivals - July 26 and August 24
- Del Mar Grill Fest - August 9
- Gourmet Food Truck Festival - August 16
- Wiener Dog Races - Saturday, August 30
- More event listings
Summer Concert Series
All concerts are free with regular racetrack admission. Admission for concertgoers entering after the final race is $20.
- Jurassic 5 - Friday, July 18
- The Cult - Friday, July 25
- Neon Trees - Friday, August 1
- Weezer - Saturday, August 2
- Steel Pulse - Friday, August 8
- Counting Crows - Saturday, August 9
- MAGIC! - Friday, August 15
- The Local Showcase with Silent Comedy, Transfer & Vokab Kompany - Friday, August 22
- Steve Aoki - Friday, August 29
- Reggae Festival with Ziggy Marley - Sunday, August 31