SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – The New York Racing Association, Inc. hosted Irish-American Day at Saratoga Race Course on Wednesday, August 6. The event was the third installment in the inaugural International Heritage Series, a weekly celebration of global culture and heritage during the 2014 summer meet.
The day-long festivities featured Irish music, dance, entertainment, crafts and food in the Saratoga Pavilion located inside the Reserved Seats Box Office entrance.
The New York Racing Association welcomed Ambassador Consul General of Ireland Noel Kilkenny and his wife Hanora Kilkenny to Saratoga Race Course. The chief diplomat from the Irish consulate in New York City, the Ambassador Consul General presented a trophy in the winner’s circle as part of the day’s festivities.
Traditional Irish bagpipers and step dancers greeted guests at the grandstand and clubhouse entrances throughout the morning and dancers with The Boland School of Irish Dance performed trackside.
Performances from Irish band Comhaltas, the Sons and Daughters of Erin Pipe Band, Capital District Set Dancers, The Boland School of Irish Dance, Farrell School of Dancing and An Clar School of Irish Dance took place at the Pavilion and bandstand throughout the day.
A number of chefs from the greater Capital Region conducted cooking demonstrations of classic Irish dishes inside the Saratoga Pavilion during the afternoon, including Traditional Irish Soda Bread from Chef Harold Qualters; Guinness Chocolate Cake from Chef and Questar III Culinary Educator Peter Desmond; Irish Black Pudding and Apple Sauce from Wayside Country Inn Chef and Owner Sean McCarthy; and Leek and Oatmeal Soup from Wheatfield’s Bistro and Wine Bar Executive Chef Michael Kiernan.
Acclaimed exhibits highlighting Irish culture, traditions and history from the Irish-American Heritage Museum in Albany were on display at the Pavilion throughout the day.
In addition to Irish-American Day, the International Heritage Series lineup will include: African-American Day on August 13; and Asian-American Day on August 20. The final installment of the series will celebrate the history and culture of Saratoga Springs with Saratoga Heritage Day on August 27.
The 2014 summer meet at Saratoga Race Course continues through Labor Day, Monday, September 1. For more information about events at Saratoga Race Course, visit www.nyra.com/saratogaevents.