by MIKE CHAIKEN
Part of the pageantry surrounding the Kentucky Derby is the fanciful hats women will wear at parties celebrating the historic horse race.
Part of the pageantry surrounding the Miss Connecticut Scholarship Organization is its annual gala held in the weeks before the final competition.
This year, Miss Connecticut combined both traditions with a Kentucky Derby gala party at the Aqua Turf on May 4.
Although the event was now a brunch, and held in daylight hours, some traditions remained. The contestants all dressed up in their stylish best. All the contestants, and some of their princesses, were introduced as they strutted proudly into the ballroom. And it was an opportunity for all Miss and Outstanding Teens to socialize prior to the big scholarship competitions in June.
One new tradition was forged at the brunch. All of the contestants wore Kentucky Derby-style hats. And many of them wore hats that reflected their individual causes and personalities.
These are the hats they had perched on their heads.
PHOTOS by MIKE CHAIKEN