The 2017 Hat Luncheon took place on Thursday, June 8

Reception & Hat Judging: 11:15 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Luncheon & Stifel Hat Contest: 12:00-1:30 p.m.

Presented by the Women's Committee of Forest Park Foreverand co-chairs Vanessa F. Cooksey & Carolyn G. Farrell

This annual event is the single largest fundraiser supporting the work of Forest Park Forever, the nonprofit conservancy that partners with the City of St. Louis to restore, maintain and sustain Forest Park. Approximately 1,100 attendees join us at the iconic World's Fair Pavilion every year to don their fanciest fascinators and chicest chapeaus where they enjoy a cocktail hour, seated luncheon and the much-anticipated Stifel Hat Contest.

Arrival & Parking Information

Hat Contest


No longer will judges or participants be anonymous! To participate in the 2017 Hat Contest be sure to come to the check-in table for the Hat Contest (it will be located to your right as you ascend the steps to the pavilion) and prepare to walk the red carpet! Our judges will be seated in a panel, and participants can walk the promenade as often as they wish during the reception. Note: participants MUST check in at the Hat Contest table and walk the red carpet to be considered for the contest.

To help our judges and our guests have more clarity in the contest categories, we are providing the following descriptions. Judges will interpret fitness to the theme as they see fit, and judges decisions are final. Except as noted, there are three winners per category. The final verdict on winners will be issued by judges. Contestants must be present to win. 

Category Descriptions

  • Best Table Theme
    Cohesive theme in a table group, hats can be matching or coordinated. Only one winner will be chosen for this category.
  • Dapper Dudes
    A category just for the male attendees! Only one winner will be chosen for this category.
  • Fascinator
    Headpieces mounted on a headband or comb, does not cover the entire head. May be large or small. 
  • Romantic
    Take your inspiration from Parisian millinery of the 19th century, such as that shown in the Degas exhibit at the Saint Louis Art Museum, like ribbons, floral elements, dramatic feathers, grandiose confections.
  • Vintage
    This year's judges will be looking for classic Roaring 20's and early jazz era pieces. Think: Great Gatsby, Flapper styles, Cloches, Men's straw brimmed hats, satin and beads.
  • Whimsical
    Get creative! Ideally handcrafted or handmade by the wearer or an amateur (rather than a professional milliner).
  • People's Choice
    Each judge will submit their choice for the People’s Choice category. These contestants will be asked to come on stage as a group, where they will be voted on by audience response. One winner will be selected, or two in the case of a tie. 

Thank you, 2017 Hat Luncheon sponsors!

Park Partners

  • Saint Louis Zoo
  • Saint Louis Art Museum
  • Missouri Historical Society
  • Saint Louis Science Center
  • The Muny


  • Afroworld Hair and Fashion Company
  • Cheree Berry Paper
  • Contemporary Productions
  • Major Brands, Inc.
  • St. Louis City Department of Parks, Recreation & Forestry

Media Sponsors

  • KMOX
  • St. Louis American
  • St. Louis Homes & Lifestyles


  • Edward Jones
  • Emerson
  • Judy Jones
  • Stifel - Hat Contest Sponsor
  • Wells Fargo Advisors


  • Crawford Taylor Foundation
  • Enterprise Holdings Foundation
  • Monsanto


  • Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center - Guest Gift Sponsor
  • Express Scripts
  • Steve & Linda Finerty
  • Spire
  • World Wide Technology, Inc.


  • Ameren
  • BJC Healthcare
  • BSI Constructors, Inc.
  • Commerce Bank
  • Graybar
  • Paul A. Higgins
  • Nancy & Ken Kranzberg
  • The Northern Trust Company
  • Purina
  • Saint Louis University
  • Barbara B. Taylor


  • Arcturis
  • Asset Consulting Group
  • AT&T
  • BKD, LLP
  • Maria Briggs
  • Daniel & Henry Co.
  • Drury Hotels
  • Carolyn & Kevin Farrell
  • FleishmanHillard
  • Hudson and Associates, LLC
  • Marilyn Fox
  • Michael & Diedre Gray
  • Hogan Transportation Companies
  • Joy Liss
  • Mercy
  • PNC
  • Scape American Bistro
  • St. Louis Community College
  • Washington University in St. Louis
  • Webster University

Sponsorship as of May 1, 2017

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