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Big crowd kicks off Fair Grounds meet

The parking lot was filled. Lines at concession stands and betting windows were long. The paddock was packed with people craning their necks to get a look at the horses.

It was a warm, sunny Thanksgiving Day at the Fair Grounds, and New Orleanians came out in droves.


“We’ve got a great crowd,” said Eric Halstrom, Fair Grounds vice president and general manager for racing. “Moving back to the traditional opening obviously was the way to go.”


The Fair Grounds returned to its traditional Thanksgiving Day opener for the first time in three years, after the pre-Thanksgiving openings never caught on.


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