Head of the Lake: It's all about the hats

IT is like a day at the races, but not as you know it.

The fascinators and frocks have been traded for flags, fruit and face paint.

Welcome to the 2014 Head of the Lake boat race.

The kids of Ballarat's six private and public high schools are showing their true colours on and off Lake Wendouree.

Instead of slapping on a school hat, Ballarat Grammar student Will Greig decided to don a watermelon crown.

"It cost about $10," Will said.

Milliner in disguise, Will's friend Hamish Bennett, said creating the hat was a team effort.

"Will spent four hours eating it and I spent about four hours making it," Hamish said.

But classmates Tash Bianchi and Ellen O'Donohue left the creativity to the boys.

"I bought mine off eBay," Ellen said.

"It cost $40 and I bought it just for today."

Tash decided to buy local for the event.

"I got mine from Jolly Joker in Sturt Street. It cost $11."