This annual extravaganza, a benefit for the Sonoma County Fair Foundation, kicked off with trackside hors d'oeuvres and wine, a welcome by Sonoma County Fair Board President Lisa Carreno, a Walk the Catwalk at competition, live auction by Brent Ferris of KZST and a group photo in the racing paddock.
Winner of best vintage hat, this stylish contestant in the hat competion also sported one of my favorite hats in last years line-up. She apparently has a penchant for purchasing beautiful headwear on her travels around the world.
An auction of two of the favorite hats of Sonoma County icon Saralee McClelland Kunde (known for her exuberance, can-do spirit and her collection of big, floppy, fabulous hats) raised money for the fair, farm youth and agricultural causes. Her husband, Richard Kunde donated her favorite big yellow hat (pictured below), worn by Saralee at last year's Hat Day at the races and a striking cerise hat from his late wife's treasured collection.
Saralee and Richard's Barn, a center for agricultural education to be built on the county fairgrounds in Santa Rosa is currently in the works. As well as providing an educational center, it will serve as a venue for additional events such as fundraising dinners, wine competitions and Sonoma County Farm Bureau's Ag Days for over 4,000 elementary school children, culinary demonstrations, farm to table activities, 4-H and FFA seminars and meetings, private events, dog shows and livestock events.