SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – The New York Racing Association, Inc. will celebrate the culture and traditions of the Bel Pease during Premio Italian-American Heritage Day at Saratoga Race Course on Wednesday, August 17.
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, presented by Time Warner Cable News. The day’s first race will be named in honor of the celebration.
A Premio Italian food truck will be positioned outside the Saratoga Pavilion offering guests samples of the brand’s sausage throughout the afternoon.
Accordion player Ralph Brooks and guitar player Edward Salvo will greet guests with traditional Italian music as they arrive at the gates beginning at 11 a.m.
Italian singer Rafi Topolian will begin the day by performing the National Anthem at 11:35 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 2:10 p.m. following the day’s third race. Italian tenor Angelo Mazzone, Jr. will perform the classic aria “Nessun Dorma” following race number five.
The Saratoga Pavilion will play host to performances from Italian opera singer Rose Graziano Hargrave, Neapolitan musician Umberto Palmieri, Italian singer Christina Pizzino-Catalono, and the Albany Dancesport Club.
Italian food will be available for purchase to benefit the Italian Heritage Association and Museum in Albany at the Saratoga Pavilion, including Premio Italian sausage subs; meatball subs; eggplant and chicken parmigiana; pasta; Italian pastries and gelato from Saratoga Gelato.
Select food items available for purchase to benefit the Italian Heritage Association and Museum have been donated by Marcella’s Restaurant and by Mazzone Hospitality. Mazzone is also the presenting sponsor of Travers 1864 Restaurant Week.
Italian food specials will also be available for purchase at participating concessions throughout the venue, including: sausage and peppers heros at Premio locations; vegetable & pepperoni stromboli at the Finishline; pizza dogs at Sabretts; White Bean Escarole soup at the Chowder Bar; pizza fried dough at Fried Dough; chicken parm sandwiches at Tossed and Sauced; and Peroni beer at select locations on track.
Activities highlighting Italian culture, traditions and history will take place at the Pavilion throughout the day, including Italian language lessons and the opportunity for children to create their own Venetian mask. Interactive exhibits and an ancestry board from the American Italian Heritage Association and Museum will also be on display.
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.