Leslie Monroy exhibits perfect balance modeling her exquisite and extravagant hat (Benoit Photo)
Leslie Monroy Wins Grand Prize in 2023 Del Mar Opening Day Hats Contest
Del Mar Press Release
DEL MAR, Calif.— The 29th annual Opening Day Hats Contest at Del Mar drew more than 150 contestants. Categories included Most Glamorous, Best Fascinator, Best Flowers, and Best Racing/All Others Theme. Contestants competed for more than $4,000 in total cash and prizes, distributed to first to third place winners in each category.
The Grand Prize winner was Leslie Monroy of Spring Valley who competed in the “Best Flowers” category. Leslie’s Barbie-pink head-to-toe look hat donned over 500 pink rose petals, 70 gold horses, with a fabulous long train of orchids. The bright pink horse formed a trail of flowers in its track. Judges loved the creativity, artistry, and track theme tie-in. Leslie won a one-night stay and meal for two at Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa, a $500 Studio Savvy Salon gift basket, and a $300 cash prize for a total value $1,800. The first-place winner In the “Best Flowers” category went to.
First place in the “Most Glamorous” category was awarded to Dea Wilson from Loomis, CA, with matching sea-foam green and cotton candy pink plumed hat, looking fabulous from head to toe. The floppy brimmed hat with plumes of white, pink, and foam-green feathers also featured golden butterflies stilettos and everything in between worked perfectly.
First place in the category of “Best Fascinator” went to Allison Karlstrand from Dana Point. Her barbie-inspo look was chef’s kiss. Her stunning bright pink and purple “hatinator” – a gorgeous fascinator larger than life. The sculptural artistry and dimensional creativity combined with the barbie-perfect white high-top sneakers.
A true crowd pleaser and certainly memorable in the “Best Racing Theme / All Others” goes to local milliner Chris Banner from Valley Center. The creative theme, “Bee kind to the porcupine” was well thought out from head to toe. The hat created a porcupine “mohawk/mullet” look with knee-high leather buckle punk rock boots, black kilt, with a matching cane bedazzled with pool balls, etc.