What to Wear to York Racecourse, What to Wear to York

York Ebor Festival 2019 – People & Fashion


The Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival this year took place over four spectacular days of racing action from Wednesday 21st to Saturday 24th August. Off the track there was plenty to keep racegoers entertained! Eclipse Magazine’s photographer Ian Yates (www.eyewhy.co.uk) was on hand to capture some stunning scenes and outfits.


On all four days, racegoers were invited to participate in the Slingsby Ebor Fashion Lawn. The eye-catching, flower-clad catwalk, set in the picturesque surroundings in front of the Edwardian Weighing Room, offered a touch of “modern vintage”.  A panel of judges decided the winner on each day of the Best Dressed Racegoer as well as Best Hat, Best Dressed Gent, Best Dressed Child and Best Dressed Couple. Milliner Georgina Durdy was also on hand to help assess the style and match hats to outfits.


On the opening and closing day of the four day meeting at 1.30pm, parachute display teams dropped in on the Knavesmire with the RAF Falcons on Wednesday and the Silver Stars of the Royal Logistics Corps on Ebor Saturday.

The first four races on each of the four days were broadcast live on ITV1, with Ed Chamberlin and Francesca Cumani heading the team alongside fashion experts, Mark Heyes and Charlotte Hawkins.

What to Wear to York Racecourse, What to Wear to York

This was only the second ever Ebor Festival for the renamed Clocktower Enclosure, the grassed infield area which runs parallel to the final furlong of the track. Retaining its great views back towards the main stands, it benefited from a £5 million improvement scheme in 2018. 

Main contractor, Lindum York, delivered two large, modern toilet blocks at either end of the grass banking, a row of canopies either side of the famous Clocktower that offer catering and betting facilities as well as some racegoer cover, improved access for pushchairs and wheelchairs plus a refurbishment of the turnstiles.

Away from the track, a brigade of some 80 chefs, backed by a wider raceday team of over two thousand staff, provided the welcome, services and treats that come with a major sporting event.  Seafood was delivered from the Yorkshire coast every morning including 2,000 crabs, joining Dales lamb and 3,000 home-made beef burgers, Hawes cheeses, 6,000 fresh baked fruit scones and locally made dairy ice cream, on the various menus. Extending the White Rose provenance this year were fresh crustaceans provided by the Yorkshire Lobster Company, from the waters off Scarborough.

An additional place to enjoy food and drinks this year was the Garden Pavilion, a pre-booked area that offers a beautiful garden in the centre of the course to compliment the hospitality and sporting action.

What to Wear to York Racecourse, What to Wear to York

York is proud of its flowers and floral displays growing many of its displays and plants from seed or seedling and last year won a RHS Yorkshire in Bloom Gold Award. Very much a signature of 2018, the Ebor Festival this year offered a new “selfie flower wall” by the Parade Ring for racegoers to show off their fashion and capture the moment on social media. 

Over the week, those seeking musical entertainment had a remarkable choice, as Yorkshire based jazz and brass bands performed on the Edwardian Weighing Room Lawn; Murphy’s Marbles played their own blend of Irish foot stomping, good time tunes; and local bands, The Monotones and Paradise Lane, played after the last race each day from the Edwardian Weighing Room Lawn.

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