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Del Mar Race's Hats Contest goes virtual amid COVID-19

Posted at 9:01 AM, Jul 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-16 12:01:52-04

For decades, the Del Mar Races have been more than just horses. It's the food, drinks and fashion that San Diegan's spend all year anxiously awaiting.

"It brings the festivities. Instead of everyone just coming for a race day, it makes the women have a reason to put something pretty on like hats or go all out with a dress," said Deena Von Yokes.

For the past 8 years, Deena was a judge for the race's annual hat contest.

But as COVID-19 kept fans away this year, she and organizers didn't let the contest take a back seat.

"Home turf club is what we’re calling it. You can create your own with your 'friend bubble' or 'business bubble' or 'work bubble'. People can still celebrate and have fun."

And by celebrate, she wanted everyone to dress up from head to toe.

"Take a picture of your head to your toes because its about the hat but it’s also the complete look," Deena described.

To enter the virtual contest this year, participants had to upload their entire look on social media using the #DelMarHatsContest and tagging the Del Mar Races official account.

"People who have never done it before can do something crazy so I’m kind of curious to see what happens and to see what people come up with."

Everyone proved COVID-19 couldn't stop San Diego.

"We’re showing how resilient we are all in the spirit of fashion, and in this case, in horse racing because that’s a tradition here and we’re going to keep that alive."

Winner will be announced July 11th. The grand prize is two tickets to 2021's Breeder's Cup.