Hats & Horses - Derby Day in Niagara

May 4, 2019

Canada's Largest Derby Party

On the hooves of last year’s success, Hats & Horses – Niagara Derby Day returns to the Meridian Centre on May 4 as Canada’s largest Kentucky Derby party.

Fashion, flair, furlongs, and fundraising, are the highlights at Niagara’s take on the world’s largest cocktail party with live horse racing broadcast during the event, including the big race – the ‘Run for the Roses’ where live wagering is available to those in attendance.


In addition to the “most exciting two minutes in sports”, the style and fashion is a signature piece of the Kentucky Derby, with guests known for donning bold prints, pastel colours, and wild hats.


Join us on Saturday, May 4th dressed in Kentucky Derby Style to enjoy the races, place a wager, and sip a mint julep at the Meridian Centre in the heart of downtown St Catharines. In memory of the late Jan R. Cook, this event will support 3 local charities – Community Care St Catharines-Thorold, FACS Niagara, and Niagara Children’s Centre. Visit www.hatsandhorses.ca

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Important Details

  • Program
    • 3:30 pm: Doors Open
    • 4:28 pm: First Race begins
    • 4:35 pm: Fashion Show Part 1
    • 5:25 pm: Second Race begins
    • 5:45 pm: Fashion Show Part 2
  • Good to Know
    • Wagering: Cash Only (best to bring it with you)
    • Winners: Cashed Out on site
    • Bars: accept Cash/Credit/Debit
    • Food: included with your admission
    • Fashion Show: register on arrival ($3000+ in prizes!)

Where to Enter

  • Front Entrance (box office) 
  • Rankin Bridge Entrance (St. Paul Street) 


  • On-site parking is limited to accessible spaces with a government-issued permit
  • There is a drop-off zone at the Front of the Meridian Centre

Where to Park:

The downtown core of St. Catharines is the ideal place to park while giving you easy access to the Meridian Centre. We recommend the Ontario Street Garage or the Carlisle Street Garage (public lot entrance located on Carlisle Street). A special parking fee of $5.00 - $10.00 may apply during events.

Entry Policies

  • Outside food, drink, or alcohol is prohibited into the facility. Refillable water bottles accepted (must be empty upon entry).
  • For the safety of all guests, entry to the Meridian Centre may include wanding procedures.
  • No bags over 12 inches x 12 inches x 12 inches. Soft-sided bags only. 
  • Meridian Centre is a non-smoking property. Smoking or vaping in or around the premises may result in ejection. 
  • Small collapsible umbrellas up to 12 inches in length are permitted.
  • Intoxicated patrons will be refused entry.
  • Children must be supervised by an adult.
  • Only service animals are permitted into the facility.
  • Staff is not responsible for lost or stolen items.
  • By entering the Meridian Centre, patrons consent to being photographed, audio and video recorded which may be used for publication or reproduction on websites, social media, or any other purposes pertaining to the venue. 

During events, parking at the Meridian Centre is limited to accessible spots with a government issued permit. However, there are some easy parking options available in the downtown core. Visit our Parking page for specifics.

Please note that you may be video recorded or photographed while in the venue during events. 

There are no upcoming showings at this time.