SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) will pay tribute to the nation’s service members and veterans during Military Appreciation Day at Saratoga Race Course on Wednesday, August 3.
The day will feature free grandstand and clubhouse admission for all United States military service members and veterans with valid military ID or proof of military service. Additionally, NYRA will welcome local service members and veterans to the winner’s circle before each race on the day’s card. The service members will represent the sacrifices of those who have defended the United States from World War II through the present era.
Numerous generations of veterans and service members will gather in the winner’s circle for the day’s third race named in honor of Military Appreciation Day.
“The New York Racing Association is honored to recognize the service and sacrifice of the men and women of the United States military,” said NYRA CEO and President Chris Kay. “Military Appreciation Day is one of the days I look forward to most at Saratoga as we thank those who have given so much to preserve and protect our nation. We look forward to hosting our service members and veterans at Saratoga Race Course with a day dedicated in their honor. We owe a great debt to them – our freedom.”
Performers from the USO Show Troupe, an American tradition that entertains approximately 600,000 service members and their families annually worldwide, will greet guests with patriotic songs as they arrive at the clubhouse entrance beginning at 11 a.m. Local acapella group Racing City Chorus will greet guests at the Union Avenue gates. Additionally, a U.S. Marine Corps 5-15 vehicle will be positioned outside the Clubhouse gates throughout the afternoon.
NYRA will pay tribute to its service member and veteran employees with a special ceremony in the winner’s circle during the National Anthem, which will be performed by the Racing City Chorus at 11:30 a.m. The National Anthem will be accompanied by a Presentation of Colors from members of the Naval Support Activity Saratoga. The Racing City Chorus will return to the winner’s circle to perform God Bless America during the afternoon.
The Racing City Chorus will continue to entertain guests on the track apron following the day’s third race at approximately 2:10 p.m. The USO Show Troupe will come trackside for a special performance on the apron following the day’s fifth race at approximately 3:15 p.m. Additionally, both groups will perform at the Saratoga Pavilion, presented by Time Warner Cable News, throughout the afternoon.
The Community Outreach Booth will host the Saratoga VFW Post 420, which is dedicated to aiding and supporting local veterans in need. On the national level, the VFW has more than 1.7 million members and contributed more than 8.6 million volunteer hours on an annual basis.
The local chapter of Blue Star Mothers of America, comprised of women whose loved ones are serving in the military, will have a presence adjacent to the Community Outreach Booth. The Blue Star Mothers offer support to military members and their families, including coordinating the delivery of care packages for troops deployed overseas.
Artwork created by veterans participating in the fine arts program of the Veterans Services Project at Living Resources will be on display at the Saratoga Pavilion from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The program provides local military veterans who have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder or traumatic brain injuries with an outlet to express their emotions as they transition to civilian life.
A number of activities will be available for guests at the Saratoga Pavilion throughout the afternoon, including a pull-up bar challenge with the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve. Other military-related organizations represented at the Saratoga Pavilion will include the Disabled American Veterans; New York National Guard; New York State Military Museum; Patriot Flight; Saratoga American Legion; Stars for Our Troops; STRIDE Adaptive Sports; United States Navy; Veterans Business Council; and the Veterans Miracle Network.
Reserved seats at Saratoga Race Course, including reserved tables in the backyard or Fourstardave Sports Bar, are available through Ticketmaster.com.
The 2016 season at historic Saratoga Race Course continues through Labor Day, Monday, September 5. For more information about Saratoga Race Course, call 518-584-6200 or visit www.NYRA.com.