Opening Day 2016 at the Del Mar Racetrack

One of the most anticipated events of the summer is coming up – opening day at the Del Mar Racetrack is this Friday, July 15! Festivities kick off at 11:30am and last through the day; post time for the first race is 2pm. Here’s what to do and where to party on the big day. 

The Hat Contest

Exploring your hat creativity could win you a share of more than $5,000 in total prizes! Strut your stuff between 11:30am and 3:00pm in the Plaza de Mexico located inside the Stretch Run admission gates for a chance to win.

Participants can enter in one of the following five categories: Most Glamorous, Best Racing Theme, Funniest/Most Outrageous, Best Fascinator and Flowers/All Other. There is no fee to participate and all entrants will receive two free admission passes to return to the races.

SEE ALSO: The Del Mar Summer Concert Series Lineup

Winners in each category receive for first place: $300 plus Studio Savvy Gift Basket valued at $250; second place: $200; and third place: $100. The Grand Prize winner receives a one-night stay at the Fairmont Grand Del Mar and dinner for two at Addison Restaurant, featuring Chef William Bradley’s multi-course tasting menu with wine pairings (total value of more than $1,000).

The Party

If you want to kick things up a notch, get tickets to the exclusive behind-the-scenes party happening on Opening Day. Tickets cost $30 per person and include a bunch of goodies, including:

  • Stretch Run Admission and exclusive access to The Party
  • Red Bull Tour Bus complete with world-class DJs
  • DJ, dance floor and games tent presented by Harrah’s
  • Purchase from selection of 20+ Craft Beers and Cocktail Bars
  • Award-Winning BBQ for purchase
  • Photo booths, prize giveaways and interactive activities
  • Jumbo video boards for race viewing
  • Private wagering
  • Limited first-come-first-served shaded seating

The After-Party

Don your party hats and head to the L’Auberge Del Mar for the official Opening Day After-Party. Mixologists will be pouring the best drinks in town alongside fabulous ocean views and music by Southern California DJs FishFonics and Gabe Vega on the pool deck. Entrance includes culinary delights from KITCHEN 1540 and Chef Nathan Lingle.

Tickets are $250 at the door, or $229 until July 14th.

Visit for more information. Racing season goes through September 5.

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