WHAT: The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) will celebrate the culture and traditions of the Bel Paese during Italian-American Heritage Day at Saratoga Race Course
WHEN: Wednesday, August 19
Gates open at 11 a.m.
WHERE: Saratoga Race Course
267 Union Avenue
Saratoga Springs, New York
DETAILS: The day-long festivities will feature Italian music, dance, entertainment, crafts and food.
11:30 a.m. Italian classic standards singer Brian DiGuiseppe will begin the day by performing the National Anthem in the winner’s circle.
11:30 a.m. Accordion players Ralph “Carmine” Brooks and Peter Rizzo will be joined by Italian jugglers to greet guests outside the Clubhouse and Union Avenue entrances.
2:15 p.m. Dancers from Italian American Community Center Ballerini will perform a traditional Italian folk dance trackside.
4:50 p.m. The day’s eighth race will be named “Buon Giorno: Italian-American Heritage Day” in honor of the celebration. Italian tenor Angelo Mazzone, Jr. will perform the classic opera song “O Sole Mio” in the winner’s circle following the race.
11 a.m. to 5 p.m. 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.
11 a.m. to 5 p.m. 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-themed food and drink specials will also be available for purchase at participating on-track concessions and restaurants throughout the day.
11 a.m. to 5 p.m. 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 historic Saratoga Race Course continues through Labor Day, Monday, September 7. For more information about Saratoga Race Course, call (518) 584-6200 or visit NYRA.com.