Derby Day Sumter 2014

As many of you may know, yesterday was the Kentucky Derby. As such, Downtown Sumter, SC along with Thompson Industries hosted Derby Day Sumter. Proceeds for the event went to benefit the United Way, and I started the morning by running my chunk switch in the "Run for the Roses" 5K run. Thankfully, it was early enough not to be sweltering, as Sumter often is.
The big event of the day, however, was the Derby Day Party, for which I needed a very fancy hat. I knew my best bet was to go to main street Sumter where, incidentally, the main event was to be held. 

Now, Main street sumter is home to a diverse range stores, including several beauty supply stores, wig shops, antique stores, restaurants,  and Cut Rate Drugs, which has an old-timey lunch counter. I started at Evergreen Beauty Supplies, where there was an assortment of hair pieces, fascinators, hats, jewelry, and wigs. I saw a few fascinators I liked, but I still wasn't sure yet. Next, there was Evergreen Beauty Supplies, and they had more little clips and sundries for the hair, but I still wasn't sure, so I moved back toward the heart of main street where I found Shivern's Fashions, and my mind was blown. 

The moment I walked into Shivern's I knew I was in the right store. There were hats, hats, hats! There was a glass counter to my left when I walked in, and on top here foam heads wearing fascinators. Behind the counter were hanging hats. To my right was a spinning rack of hats, and out before me was rack upon rack upon rack of suits, each rack topped with yet another fabulous hat. There were hats with rhinestones, hats made of organza, tall hats, flat hats, hat shaped like drums. There were hats with feathers and hats with bows, hats shaped like gongs in rainbows of colors. 

The proprietress, Shivern, came to the front of the store with her daughter, and they helped me try on hats, asking what color my dress was and what it looked like. I had the best time. In the end I purchased a black feathery fascinator with two long lengths of satiny strips sticking out for a bit of height. I loved it.

With my new fascinator, I wore my Bettie Page Dress, and before we went into the party, I stopped back by Shivern's to show her the finished product. 

"Girl, you clean!" said Shirvern, and though I hadn't showered since I'd seen her, I felt quite proud at her approval. 

The derby Day Party was on a green space in the heart of downtown Sumter, complete with a red carpet photo op location, white tables with white table cloths, a giant screen on which to watch the Derby, A Band (Terence London and the Untouchables), and a border of food vendors, all of whom had donated their food and service to the party.

All the food was delicious, though I must admit I couldn't eat all of it, since I'm gluten free. My favorite thing that I could eat, though, was the duck and grits from Simply Southern Bistro. I considered having a second helping. Above you'll find photos of the cute cookies and desserts brought by Baker's Sweets. I especially wished I could eat the hat and horse cookies, but truth be told, the peanut butter cake from Baker's Sweets is really the best. It doesn't, however, seem to be listed on their website.

There was a hat competition after the Race, and a woman in a hat of her own design took home the prize. Shivern did not compete, but she was certainly in attendance and looking good.

All told, it was an excellent event, and now I think I need to eat a vat of those grits from Simply Southern Bistro. Next year, I hope Shivern's Fashion has a fashion show.

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