13th annual Travers Celebration week offers fun, prizes and food

13th Annual Travers Celebration
It's almost here: Travers weekend. This week visitors from across the country will start pouring into Saratoga Springs to celebrate the 142nd running of the Travers Stakes on Saturday, August 27. Leading up to the weekend is NYRA's annual Travers Festival, which kicked off on Sunday with the start of the Travers 1864 Restaurant Week. 
From now until Thursday, August 25, guests have the opportunity to dine out at over 50 participating restaurants offering a special 3-course meal for a steal - just $18.64 (may not include tax, tip or beverage) to commemorate the first running of the Travers back in 1864.

Wednesday, August 24. 
  • NYRA and Stewarts have teamed up again to host the annual Saratoga Race Course Stewart's Ice Cream Eating Contest on Wednesday the 24th. There are categories for kids, teens and adults - anyone brave enough to tackle pints of Stewart's world famous ice cream. Cool off, get messy, or just watch and cheer for the competitors outside the jockey silk's room Wednesday afternoon. Prizes include free gift certificates for (more) Stewart's ice cream.

Thursday, August 25.
  • Those who have a passion for fashion and a heart for charity can join the 13th annual Ronald McDonald House Fashion Show and Luncheon at the Rail Pavilion in the Clubhouse on Thursday. The catered lunch and fashion show, featuring new styles by Theia, runs from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. Tickets start at $150 per person and can be ordered by calling 438-2655 or email, cturner@rmhcofalbany.org. Proceeds go to benefit the Ronald McDonald House charities across the Capital District.
  • The party continues after the races with the official 2011 Travers Celebration gala presented by Northeastern Fine Jewelry and Macy's. The extravagant event begins with an outdoor cocktail party featuring unique and elaborate food stations, beverage offerings and live music from the New York Players. Guests can dance under the stars and sip champagne to celebrate the contenders running this weekend in the $1 million Traver's Stakes. Tickets are $175 and proceeds benefit the Backstretch Employee Services Team (B.E.S.T.) and the Times Union Hope Fund. For tickets, call 383-6183 or visit http://traverscelebration.eventbrite.com/.

Friday, August 26
  • Brew masters will battle it out this Friday in the backyard on the eve of the Travers Stakes. The 13th annual American Red Cross Battle of the Brews kicks off at noon and runs until 4:30. Guests (of age, of course) will have the chance to sample some top-notch microbrews crafted right here in the Capital District. Patrons will have the chance to judge the various offerings voting for the winner in the people's choice and judge's choice categories. Admission is $30 and proceeds benefit the American Red Cross Adirondack-Saratoga chapter.
  • Friday night, as anticipation for Saturday builds, the annual Travers Eve celebration will take on downtown. All along Broadway, there will be different racing-themed events including a jockey autograph signing from 7:30 to 8:30. The street will be bustling with outdoor entertainment including Reggie and the Red Hot Feetwarmers and jugglers. Stop in to local boutiques and restaurants who will be hosting special Travers giveaways throughout the evening.
Saturday, August 27.
  • The day itself. The running of the 142nd Travers Stakes at Saratoga Race Course.


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