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'Hats with a Purpose' Kicks Off Down Home Derby

Repurpose an old hat or create a new one at the "Hats with a Purpose" event Tuesday and Wednesday, March 20-21.

Thanks to Milton resident Beth Ferguson, North Fulton's Down Home Derby will be a little more like the Kentucky Derby this year.

Ferguson, a fashion consultant, is spearheading a Blue Ribbon Hat Parade for the fourth annual Down Home Derby - which will take place on May 5 at In Your Dreams Farm in Alpharetta - and the public is invited to a hat-designing open house, Tuesday and Wendesday.

Celebrity milliner Nicholas Kniel, Ferguson, and Executive Director Donna Smythe are co-hosting an open house at Nicholas Kniel - Embellishments for You and Your Home, one of the most unusual boutiques in Sandy Springs.  Kniel will offer free consultation on creating hats or repurposing old ones. A specialist in the art of adornment, he will share ideas for recreating spring hats with the likes of peacock sword feathers, crystals, velvet birds, tafetta ribbon and chenille dot veiling. He will donate 20 percent of proceeds from sales of hats or embellishments to the Child Development Association.  

“Let’s just say that you bought a hat two Easters ago. You like it, but you don’t love it. Re-do it so you love it,” Kniel said.

Fascinators, the hair accessories often worn by Princess Kate, also can be spruced up as the perfect complement for the jeans-and-boots attire at the Down Home Derby.

The event will take place at Nicholas Kniel – Embellishments for You and Your Home, 290 Hilderbrand Drive, Suite B-13, on Tuesday, March 20, from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. and Wednesday, March 21, from 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.

The Down Home Derby is the primary fundraiser for the Child Development Association (CDA), a non-profit in Roswell which is dedicated to providing high-quality early care and education programs for children of low-income working parents.

It will take place Saturday, May 5, at In Your Dreams Farm, 17875 Birmingham Hwy., Alpharetta. Doors open 5 p.m., Run for the Roses Post Time: 6:04 p.m. Tickets ($150) are available online or by calling 770-992-4450. Proceeds go to fund tuition scholarships.

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