SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – The New York Racing Association, Inc. will celebrate the culture and traditions of the Bel Paese during Italian-American Heritage Day at Saratoga Race Course on Wednesday, August 19.
The day-long festivities will feature Italian music, dance, entertainment, crafts and food from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Saratoga Pavilion. The day’s eighth race will be named “Buon Giorno: Italian-American Heritage Day” in honor of the celebration.
Accordion player Ralph “Carmine” Brooks and Italian jugglers will greet guests with traditional Italian music as they arrive at the entrances to Saratoga Race Course.
Italian singer Brian DiGuiseppe will begin the day by performing the National Anthem at 11:30 a.m. in the winner’s circle.
Children with the Italian American Community Center Ballerini will perform a traditional Italian folk dance trackside at approximately 2:15 p.m. following the day’s third race.
Performers throughout the day at the Saratoga Pavilion and bandstand will include: Italian opera singer Christina Pizzino-Catalano and her accompanying pianist; Neapolitan musician Umberto Palmieri; singer Franklin Micare; and Italian folk dancers from the Albany Dancesport Club and the Italian American Community Center Ballerini.
Italian food will be available for purchase at the Saratoga Pavilion including meatball and sausage subs; eggplant and chicken parmigiana; cannoli; biscotti; and gelato from Saratoga Gelato. All proceeds will benefit the Italian Heritage Association and Museum in Albany.
Italian food specials will also be available for purchase at participating concessions throughout the track, including: meatball sandwiches at select locations in the Clubhouse and Grandstand; gelato at the lemonade and snack stands in the backyard; vegetable and pepperoni stromboli at Paddock Pizza near the finish line; antipasto salad at the Panini Stand in the grandstand; escarole and bean soup at the Chowder Bar; and Italian rope sausage and broccoli rabe on Kaiser rolls at Fourstardave’s in the backyard. Additionally, all a la carte dining restaurants will feature Italian specials on the menu and the Italian beer Peroni will be available at select locations.
Children will have the opportunity to create their own Venetian mask at the Saratoga Pavilion as part of the day’s activities highlighting Italian culture, traditions and history. For those seeking to bolster their foreign language skills, Italian language lessons will be available. Interactive exhibits from the American Italian Heritage Association and Museum will also be on display.
The 2015 summer meet at Saratoga Race Course continues through Labor Day, Monday, September 7. For more information about Saratoga Race Course, visit www.nyra.com or call 518-584-6200.