Traditional folk music, dance and customs - Harrogate, North Yorkshire - Chas Marshall's Website
RCMD : The Best Decorated Hat Competition
Ripon City Morris Dancers were formed in February 1982 and have taken part in Ripon's annual St. Wilfrid's procession on every occasion since, with just one exception*. During the evening social, it has become the custom for the participants in the procession, both dancers and musicians, to vote for the best decorated hat. Voting is on the basis of one person - one vote, with the winner being decided by a simple majority. A "gentlemen's agreement" forbids anyone to vote for themselves. This arrangement has, rather remarkably, only produced two tied results up to the year 2002! In 2003, when 3 entries tied for first place, the votes were recast with only the three joint first places as candidates.
For those who may be interested, here is a list of the winners to date:
* In 2000 the team decided to accept an invitation
to appear at Sidmouth International Folk Festival and this meant missing
the St Wilfrid's Procession that year. The best decorated hat was judged
at the first Sidmouth Arena performance.