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Festivities Filled to Brim at Saratoga

Saratoga Race Course 2012 logo
Photo: NYRA
The festivities surrounding opening weekend at Saratoga Race Course will be filled to the brim with excitement as the Spa City celebrates its first weekend of the 144th summer meet with the annual Hats Off to Saratoga Festival beginning Opening Day, Friday, July 20 through Sunday, July 22.

 

Sponsored by The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) and the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce, the three-day festival includes live music in downtown Saratoga Springs on Friday and Saturday evenings; and is capped off by the 21st annual Hat Contest at Saratoga Race Course on Sunday, July 22.

 

21st annual Hat Contest returns to Saratoga Race Course

 

The popular Hat Contest will unfold on the track apron on Sunday afternoon as adults and kids compete in three distinct categories: Uniquely Saratoga; Fashionably Saratoga; and Kreative Kids. Registration begins at noon under the grandstand. The competition will take place after the second, third and fourth races.

 

The Hats Off Contest winners will be selected by a panel of judges, including Kristi Barlette, social media strategist and host of the Times Union lifestyle blog “On the Edge”; Matt Baumgartner, local restaurateur and host of the blog “Friday Puppy”; Mary Darcy, co-founder and editor of Capital Region website AllOverAlbany.com; as well as Kevin Rush and Randi Tyler, co-hosts of the Morning Crew Show on WRVE 99.5 The River.

 

“Kreative Kids” marks the first category of the afternoon and is reserved for those 18 and under. The participants will be competing for the first-place prize of an oversized Saratoga-themed chocolate bar and a $50 gift card to the Gideon Putnam Resort & Spa. Second- and third-place prizes are $20 gift cards to Gideon Putnam Resort & Spa and various Saratoga Race Course merchandise.

 

The category entitled “Fashionably Saratoga” invites contestants to don their most elegant hats for the judges after the third race. The first-place winner will receive a trophy bowl, $100 betting voucher and a $100 gift card to the Gideon Putnam Resort & Spa. The second- and third-place winners will also receive trophy bowls as well as a $50 gift card to the Gideon Putnam Resort & Spa.

 

Following the fourth race, the most original artisans will go head-to-head for the title of“Uniquely Saratoga”. The first-place winner will receive a trophy bowl, $500 betting voucher and a $100 gift card to the Gideon Putnam Resort & Spa. The second- and third-place winners will also receive trophy bowls as well as a $50 gift card to the Gideon Putnam Resort & Spa.

 

Hats Off to Saratoga Festival to bring nearly a dozen musical acts downtown

 

On Friday and Saturday evenings, nearly a dozen bands will line Broadway in downtown Saratoga Springs from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. to provide fans with a memorable night of music and entertainment at the annual Hats Off to Saratoga Festival.

 

The Hats Off to Saratoga Festival downtown musical line-up includes Captain Squeeze and the Zydeco Moshers, MAXIMUS, Maryleigh & the Fauves, Skip Parsons Clarinet Marmalade Quartet, Jeff Strange, Bob Warren & Friends, and the Racing City Chorus on Friday evening.

 

Saturday’s lineup will include Aged in the Hills, Bernie Branch, Chris Cooley, and Rachel Matthews, in addition to a number of returning acts from Friday evening’s festivities.

 

Opening Weekend of the 144th season at Saratoga Race Course includes the Grade 3 Schuylerville for 2-year-old fillies and the Grade 3 James Marvin for sprinters on opening day, with the Grade 1 TVG Coaching Club American Oaks for 3-year-old fillies set for Saturday, July 21. The 98th edition of the Grade 2 Sanford for 2-year-olds will be run on Sunday, July 22.

 

 

 

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