WHAT: The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) will celebrate the culture and traditions of the Emerald Isle during Irish-American Heritage Day at Saratoga Race Course
WHEN: Wednesday, August 12
Gates open at 11 a.m.
WHERE: Saratoga Race Course
267 Union Avenue
Saratoga Springs, New York
DETAILS: The day-long festivities will feature Irish music, dance, entertainment and food. Fans are encouraged to celebrate by wearing green and decorating their backyard picnic tables with Irish-themed décor.
Noon Bagpipers with the Scotia-Glenville Pipe Band will be joined by Irish step dancers from The Boland School of Irish Dance to greet guests outside the Clubhouse and Union Avenue entrances.
2:15 p.m. Dancers from The Boland School of Irish Dance will perform on the track apron following the day’s third race.
3:15 p.m. NYRA will welcome Patricia Ward Kelly, wife of renowned actor, dancer and choreographer Gene Kelly, who was of Irish descent and best known for his roles in the classic films “Singin’ in the Rain” and “An American in Paris”. Ward Kelly will present the trophy for the day’s fifth race, named “Saratoga Salutes Hollywood Legend Gene Kelly”.
11 a.m. to 5 p.m. A number of chefs from the greater Capital Region will conduct cooking demonstrations of classic Irish dishes inside the Saratoga Pavilion during the afternoon, including Traditional Irish Soda Bread from Chef Harold Qualters of the Irish American Heritage Museum; Chocolate Orange Guinness Cake from Chef and Questar III Culinary Educator Peter Desmond; Apple Parsnip Irish Cheddar Soup from Fáilte Hospitality Consulting Chef Michael Galbraith; and Braised Corned Beef with Guinness Mustard from Wayside Country Inn Chef and Owner Sean McCarthy. Limited samples will be available.
11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Performances from An Clar School of Irish Dance, Irish band Blame Arthur Guinness, The Boland School of Irish Dance, Capital District Irish American Association Set Dancers, local Irish musician Kevin McKrell, and the Scotia-Glenville Pipe Band will take place at the Pavilion and bandstand.
11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Acclaimed exhibits highlighting Irish culture, traditions and history will be on display at the Pavilion. Participating organizations and individuals include the Irish American Heritage Museum, Capital District Irish American Association, Kerry Cattle Association, Kate Mullany House, Ancient Order of Hibernians, Albany Rebels Gaelic Football and artwork from Kevin McKrell.
The 2015 summer meet at historic Saratoga Race Course continues through Labor Day, Monday, September 7. For more information about Saratoga Race Course, call (518) 584-6200 or visit www.nyra.com.