SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – 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 on Wednesday, August 10.
The day-long festivities will feature Irish music, dance, entertainment and food from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Saratoga Pavilion, presented by Time Warner Cable News. The day’s second race will be named in honor of the celebration.
Fans are encouraged to celebrate by wearing green and decorating their backyard picnic tables with Irish-themed décor.
Traditional Irish bagpipers and step dancers from The Boland School of Irish Dance will greet guests at the grandstand and clubhouse entrances beginning at 11 a.m. Dancers with The Boland School of Irish Dance will perform trackside at approximately 2:10 p.m. following the day’s third race.
Performances from An Clar School of Irish Dance, The Boland School of Irish Dance and Farrell School of Dance will take place at the Pavilion throughout the day. Local musicians Don Kelley, Brothers Flynn and Padraig Timoney will also perform during the afternoon.
The Albany Rebels Gaelic Football team will conduct demonstrations of the Irish sport behind the Saratoga Pavilion at approximately 1:10 and 3:20 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;
- County Kerry Apple Cake from Chef and Questar III Culinary Educator Peter Desmond;
- Irish Sausage Wrapped in Puff Pastry from Culinary Instructor Sean McCarthy;
- Classic Roasted Parsnip Irish Soup from Stewart’s Shops Corporate Chef Michael Kiernan. Limited samples will be available.
Traditional Irish food and drink will also be available for purchase at participating concession stands, including Corned Beef Sandwiches and Guinness Brat Hoagies at Fourstardave’s and Beer-Butter Glazed Fries topped with Garlic and Cheese at Just Spuds. Irish beer and Jameson Irish Whiskey specials will be available throughout the venue and all restaurants will feature Irish-themed menu specials.
All season pass and season ticket plan holders will receive discounts at most on-track concession stands, NYRA merchandise stores and Shake Shack on Irish-American Heritage Day as well as every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday during the meet. Discount does not apply to lottery, tobacco, alcohol, restaurant dining, group sales or Dunkin’ Donuts. For a complete list of participating Saratoga Season Perks partners, visit SaratogaSeasonPerks.com.
Acclaimed exhibits highlighting Irish culture, traditions and history will be on display at the Pavilion throughout the day. Participating organizations include Albany Rebels Gaelic Football; Ancient Order of Hibernians; Capital District Irish American Association; Irish American Heritage Museum; Irish Rowing Club; Kate Mullany House; Kerry Cattle Association; and United Irish Societies of the Capital District. Artwork by Greg Montgomery will also be on display.
The Community Outreach Booth on Wednesday will feature the Saratoga Performing Arts Center in honor of its 50th anniversary season.
Reserved seats at Saratoga Race Course, including reserved tables in the backyard, Fourstardave Sports Bar, and the Easy Goer, are available through Ticketmaster.com.
Fans are invited to begin their day with breakfast on The Porch of the clubhouse while watching the thoroughbreds train on the main track. Breakfast is held from 7 to 9:30 a.m. and is available on a first-come, first-served basis. $17.95 for adults and $9.95 for kids 12 and under. Mornings at Saratoga also welcome fans to go behind the scenes with a free, guided backstretch tram tour. Tram tours begin at 7:30 a.m. and depart from the clubhouse entrance approximately every 15 minutes through 9 a.m. Tours are available on a first-come, first-served basis and are 45 minutes in length.
The 2016 summer meet at Saratoga Race Course continues through Labor Day, Monday, September 5. For more information about Saratoga Race Course, visit NYRA.com.