Hats & Horses - Niagara Derby Day


Saturday May 1st, 2021

Meridian Centre | St. Catharines, ON

Canada's largest Kentucky Derby Party!

Niagara Derby Day

This one-of-a-kind Niagara event takes place at the Meridian Centre where the community will gather to support three outstanding local charities in honour of the late Jan R. Cook. The Kentucky Derby is one of the most iconic sports and entertainment events in North America. Watched live each year by a crowd of more than 150,000 people at the famed Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, it is host to the big race – the 'Run for the Roses' - the most exciting two minutes in sports. And we are bringing all of the excitement here to Niagara! Be part of the experience as the venue is transformed into a charming southern celebration and help the Derby come to life in Niagara!

What to Expect

Live horse racing will be broadcast during the event as you mix and mingle with your fellow derby fans and enjoy an array of culinary action stations serving appetizers, hors d’oeuvres, and sweets. Enjoy live on-site race wagering hosted by Champions Off Track Betting (Woodbine Entertainment Group), music, and prizes for the best dressed party-goers in derby attire. There will also be several bars throughout the floor serving your favourite cocktails including the signature drink of the Kentucky Derby, the Mint Julep.

All the Kentucky Derby is,
just a little further north!

Who Are We Supporting?

The community will gather to support three outstanding local charities in honour of the late Jan R. Cook at this one-of-a-kind Niagara event.

All net proceeds will be donated to support our three local charities.
Family & Children's Services Niagara

FACS Niagara

Proud to be a part of the Niagara community since 1898, Family and Children’s Services is among Niagara’s largest child and family serving organizations. As a multi-service organization, we offer a wide range of programs that protect children, strengthen families and help youth and adults to be the best they can be.

Niagara Children's Centre

Niagara Children's Centre

Niagara Children’s Centre is recognized throughout the Niagara Region as the provider of rehabilitation and support services to children and youth with physical, developmental and communicative delays and disabilities. The family centred programs aim at helping each child achieve their own unique potential so that they can participate in all activities at home, school and in the community.

Community Care

Community Care

Community Care has been serving St. Catharines since 1919. The majority of funding comes from the community at large. With 21 programs and services that address the needs of the most vulnerable, we compassionately provide vital services and assistance to individuals and families that meet their basic needs and help bridge their journey to self-sufficiency. 

Queen's Plate Table Contest

Be one of the first 20 Hats & Horses table purchasers and qualify for a chance to win 6 VIP passes to the running of the Queen's Plate with a trackside view of the race, entry to the 'Mumm Champagne Garden Social' and roundtrip transportation by limousine!

Buy Tables
If for any reason the event is canceled, 100% of your ticket price will be refunded.
Queens Plate

How does it work?

All tables are numbered. There are 20 horses in the 'Run for the Roses', the final race of the Kentucky Derby. The first 20 tables purchased qualify for the prize. The table number that corresponds to the winning horse wins!

Queens Plate

What can I win?

Get ready to immerse yourself in an enchanting garden social experience at the Mumm Champagne Garden Social during the 161st Queen’s Plate at Woodbine Racetrack. Rub elbows with the fashion friendly while indulging in delectable gourmet treats, live music and much more in a relaxed, botanical setting.

Derby Style Fashion Show

One of the highlights of the event will be the live fashion show with a twist - YOU are the stars of the show! And we have some exciting prizes for the winners in the following categories:

Best Dressed Man

Best Dressed Individual

Best Dressed Pair

Best Dressed Pair

Best Hat

Best Hat

Judges will be looking for best derby style - bright colours, coordinated designs, and overall fun & creativity.

What To Wear You Might Ask?

Derby Day is just as much about what you wear as it is about the races. Imagine that you are walking up to Millionaire’s Row in the beautiful state of Kentucky. This is a showcase of the finest spring fashions, and hats are always in style!

For the women

Ladies typically wear spring dresses, pastel-colored suits, or bold separates that coordinate with their Derby headwear and accessories. The Kentucky Derby is a chance for every female to express her inner Southern Belle so take note and don't hold back when planning your derby outfit!

For the men

Gentlemen, this event provides a splendid excuse to get just as dressed up and decked-out as the ladies! The modern Derby man possesses an unparalleled colour palette. Sun-drenched, tropical colors in bold stripes or busy plaid and bright pastels steal the limelight. If a polished look is more your style, you can never go wrong with a classic navy or seersucker blazer.

2019 Event

2018 Event

Sponsor Stable

Hats & Horses Hats & Horses - Niagara Derby Day Hats & Horses Committee


From left to right: Cara Krezek, Phyllis Gleeson, Co-chair Jessica Potts, Kay Meilleur, Tracy Murphy
Wade ‘Stayzretariat’ Stayzer, Steve Cook, Co-chair Adam Cook, Cam Leach, John Netherway, Chrissy Sadowski.

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