By chance, I was in Bridport in Dorset on Saturday 5 September this year, with the intention of shopping at their excellent weekly Farmers’ Market. This I did, but I was also delighted to find that they were having their annual Hat Festival and most of the local people were sporting hats of all types. The shopkeepers and stall holders all joined in the spirit and wore their hats, and the atmosphere was one of fun and enjoyment. No-one was taking it that seriously, and there was a stage set up with a programme of musical events throughout the morning. Later in the day, there was a fun hat competition with categories for the best lady’s, gent’s, girl’s and boy’s hats as well as one for the most elegantly hatted couple. They had a milliners and hatters open competition. There was even a competition for the best hatted dog – with a treat for every entrant.
The Hat Festival was spread over 4 days, starting with a hat auction on the Thursday evening, music on the Friday evening and finishing with a Mad Hatter’s Sunday Lunch, more music, a tea dance and finally a prize awarded for the best lady’s fascinator on the Sunday.
It was all great fun and good to see a town enthused by wearing hats. This is an annual event for charity and so any Feltmakers who would like to join in should visit Bridport next September. Remember to take your hats, the wackier the better! I wish I hadn’t left my tricorn at home. My dog would have looked great in it.
See their website for details www.bridporthatfest.org
Mass hatted photo by Rob Reeks