The Deighton Cup at Hastings Racecourse is Erin Cebulas favourite summer event.
I love any excuse to put on a costume and play it up a little bit, said Cebula, a TV personality, host, reporter and producer. Thats something that Vancouver has been lacking over the years is events where you can dress up, and its not just about wearing the most expensive clothes, its about being creative and showing off that flamboyant, fun side of yourself. And I like the fact that everybody was into the theme.
Cebula won the style award at last years Thoroughbred event with her fascinator that featured pink roses, black feathers and a coyote skull.
I was calling it the honey badger, Cebula said, which was quite a hit.
She insists designer Dominique Hanke of the Vancouver-based Hive Mind Millinery is responsible for her win.
Jordan Kallman, a partner at The Social Concierge, which co-produces the Deighton Cup, says for this years fifth annual event, Aug. 9 to 11, organizers have added The Julep mixology competition thats geared to hospitality and nightlife workers. Ten bartenders will compete to concoct the best version of the official cocktail of the Kentucky Derby, the century old U.S. event which lent inspiration to the Deighton Cup.
We were a little tired of attending, you know, boat cruises and your standard nightlife events and we just thought there could be something more that allowed for a little bit more progressive summer fashion and something thats a little cooler with a little bit more culture, Kallman said. So we decided to come up with an old-fashioned day at the races. In that first year we had about 450 people get fully dressed up It was an instant hit.
The weekend kicks off with the Big Smoke on Friday night, which includes a cigar lounge, craft beer, Scotch, bourbon and whiskey tasting, a pig roast dinner, live jazz and trackside gaming.
Thoroughbred on Saturday is the anchor event with craft cocktails, canapÃ©s, derby racing, bocce, jazz tunes and the best-dressed competition that Cebula won last year, meaning her name was engraved on the Deighton Cup. This years best dressed will be awarded by the Shangri-La Hotel Vancouver on Saturday and Sunday.
I always think that it starts with the hat, Kallman said. Thats critical The fancier the better. The more outlandish the better.
Photos from last years Thoroughbred reveal women in wide-brimmed hats, feathery fascinators and flowery sundresses, and men in straw hats, bowties and suspenders.
Since about the third year, weve had ladies go as far as London in the U.K. to the fancy milliners and hat shops to select at hat specifically for this event, Kallman said.
Kallman noted that Mallory Hagan, Miss America 2013, will attend the Friday night and Saturday festivities wearing clothes created by Joseph Ribkoff, a Montreal-based designer.
For those who want to frolic after the daytime Thoroughbred event, theres an After Track soiree Saturday night.
Cocktails and Canapes catering and blueprint events co-produced the weekend with The Social Concierge.
For more information, see deightoncup.com.