SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – The New York Racing Association, Inc. will host African-American Day at Saratoga Race Course on Wednesday, August 13. The event is the fourth installment in the inaugural International Heritage Series, a weekly celebration of global culture and heritage during the 2014 summer meet.
The day-long festivities will feature music, dance, entertainment, crafts and food from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Saratoga Pavilion located inside the Reserved Seats Box Office entrance.
Exhibits from the coordinating organization of Solomon Northup Day will be on display in the Saratoga Pavilion throughout the afternoon. Solomon Northup Day, which is annually held on the third Thursday of July, honors the local heritage of Northup, a Saratoga violinist who was sold into slavery in 1841, while highlighting the African-American community of Saratoga Springs. Northup was also the subject of the Academy Award-winning film 12 Years a Slave, which won the Oscar for Best Picture in 2014.
Step dancers and jazz musicians will greet guests at the grandstand and clubhouse entrances throughout the morning. Entertainers with Team Onyx Youth Step Dance will perform trackside at 12:40 p.m.
The day’s entertainment at the Pavilion and bandstand will include: the Soul Session Duo featuring Garland Nelson; Capital District Keys for Kids Choir; Wassa Pan-Afrika Dance Ensemble; Team Onyx Youth Step Dance; and Lucy Taylor Davidic Dance.
An ancestry expert from Tracing Your Roots will show guests how to begin the research process of tracing their lineage in the Saratoga Pavilion during the afternoon.
Soul food samples will be available in the Saratoga Pavilion from Allie B’s Cozy Kitchen in Albany and The Flying Chicken in Troy.
In addition to African-American Day, the International Heritage Series lineup will include 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.