Del Mar Opening Day 2014 Celebrations, Parties, Events & Hat Contest

Del Mar Opening Day 2014 marks one of the most fun and fashionable festivities in San Diego, California. As per tradition, Del Mar Opening Day will feature live horse racing, Hat Contest, music, fabulous parties and more fun stuff for the whole family. The iconic Del Mar Racetrack will see huge crowds from celebrities to locals, from A-listers to VIPs. Opening Day is the time of excitement and enjoyment for all San Diegans.


The Del Mar Racing Season will start from 17 July 2014 and will continue till 3 September, 2014. The gates to the racetrack will open at 11:30 am every Sunday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday morning. The first post most days is at 2:00 pm, except on Fridays when it is at 4:00 pm. Join the hoard of fans, glamorous celebrities and gorgeous horses, feel the excitement in the air this Opening Day at Del Mar Racetrack.

Opening Day brings a seven weeklong festival that includes Hat Contests, summer concerts, food and beer festivals and excellent horseracing. After the races, or in-between, fans can take a trip down to the Seaside Stage, located at the West end of the Grandstand. With the pristine blue Pacific Ocean as the backdrop and great music as the center stage, fans can have fun all day long. Catch free concerts every Friday, with some weekends thrown in the mix. All race-ticket holders have free access to the concerts, if not you can always get tickets at the concerts. Sign up as a Diamond Club member, free, and get concert tickets for just $3 or at $6 without any membership. If you are entering after the final race, ticket prices are $20. Del Mar summer concert lineup includes:

  • Friday, July 18th – Jurassic 5
  • Friday, July 25th – The Cult
  • Friday, August 1st – Neon Trees
  • Saturday, August 2nd – Weezer
  • Friday, August 8th – Steel Pulse
  • Saturday, August 9th – Counting Crows
  • Friday, August 15th – MAGIC!
  • Friday, August 22nd – Special Guest
  • Sunday, August 31st – Reggae Fest featuring Ziggy Marley

This Opening Day, San Diegans will celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Del Mar Opening Day Hats Contest. Wearing hats is a tradition at the Opening Day of Del Mar Racing Season. Visitors and locals dress to impress along with hats in a variety of designs. Every horserace has a different hat category that you need to stick to if you want to participate in the hat contest. The hat categories are selected based on the race theme, venue and other factors. Be creative this racing season and go all out to win the contest. Sign up between 11:30 am and 3:00 pm in Plaza de Mexico located inside the Stretch Run admission gates to participate in the contest and receive two free admission passes to the races. The selected hat categories this year are:

  • Best Racing Theme
  • Funniest or Most Outrageous
  • Most Glamorous
  • Best Flowers/All Others
  • Best Fascinator

The prize total is $4,000, the first prize in each category being $300 and a $100 Studio Savvy Gift Certificate, the second prize is $200, and the third is $100. The Bing Crosby Grand Prize will go to a very special hat.


Sunday, July 20 will boast of the biggest Fun Day of all Family Days during the race season. There will numerous attractions, Free and otherwise, for the entire family. Every Sunday is Fun Day but July 20 is bigger and better. Racetrack admission on July 20 is free for children 17 years of age and below, while adults will get tickets at $6. Activities will range from riding horses to games, and giveaways. For children of 12 and under, there will be WEBKINZ Plush Horse Giveaway that is 9” tall, with an attached secret code, which will allow them to enter the magical world of horse games and activities at The day will also feature free horseback rides, rock climbing, bungee jumping, giant scramble slides, obstacle courses, pony rides, and more. You can also meet a Racehorse and create your hat with the famous Rad Hatter. Kids will also have a great time face painting, at body art and caricature art booths, magic shows, game zones, meeting Pony Boy the Del Mar Mascot and the San Diego Minor league team, the Lake Elsinore Storm.

San Diego horse racing attracts fans from all over the country who wager on their favorite horses in the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club racing season. This season is set to feature some of the country’s top racehorses, jockeys and trainers. Ticket prices will range from $10-20 on Opening Day and will climb down to $6-10 rest of the season. Join thousands of people and have a great Racehorse season this year.

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