what I'm doing this weekend...

This weekend is going to be a busy one with some of my favorite events of the season going on (plus it's my birthday, Friday the 13th-oooh!). I'm going to start things off tonight at the Saratoga Film Forum where they are showing the latest from my favorite Whit Stillman called Damsels in Distress. I've been a longtime Whit Stillman fan so I can't wait for this film, it's also showing Friday at 7:30 and Sunday at 7pm.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J0RrTl3tA1w

Friday is the fabulous Light Up the Night event at Saratoga National Golf Club. This event is raising money to benefit the department of emergency medicine at Albany Medical Center, a lifeline for emergency and trauma care in our region. Food from Prime, champagne and specialty drinks, a grand fireworks display, and live music by the New York Players? It'll be the perfect way to celebrate my birthday!

Saturday is definitely one of my absolute favorite events of the season, the Ballet Gala at Saratoga Performing Arts Center featuring the New York City Ballet. Things kick off at 5:30 with a champagne reception and the evening will feature a Moulin Rouge themed menu with Tuna Nicoise, Chateaubriand, and my favorite French macaroons for dessert and so much more.

The performance starts at 8pm and this year's lineup is spectacular:

Saratoga Premiere of Two Hearts Benjamin Millepied

World Premiere Ballet Justin Peck

Saratoga Premiere of Les Carillons Christopher Wheeldon

After the performance, gala guests spill out onto the gorgeous lawn and share in the revelry with the partygoers on the lawn.

Another way to attend is The Gala Lawn Party. Always a Saratoga favorite, this year's theme is An Evening at the Moulin Rouge! Pack a luxe picnic, grab your chicest blanket and hit the lawn for one of SPAC's most memorable evenings. They will have fab live music and a picnic contest from 6-8pm and as always it is BYOB – bring in all the cocktails, food & drink you want! Post Performance on the lawn – Party like you’re in Paris! They're doing a Moulin Rouge costume contest and to top off the evening-FIREWORKS! Tickets are only $50 in advance $55 night of. I'll be there with the other Toga Tattlers, come by and say hi so I can snap your pic for the Saratogian!

Sunday we are heading to the Open House at Saratoga Race Course! They open the gates of Saratoga Race Course five days early as NYRA prepares to host its annual pre-season preview party, the 32nd annual Open House. This Saratoga tradition, held prior to the start of racing season at North America’s most historic thoroughbred racetrack, the Open House returns to kick off a full day of fun and attractions on Sunday to benefit dozens of local non-profit organizations. The Open House offers a free sneak-peek into the popular summer meeting with a full day of games, activities, live music, food, pony rides, behind-the-scenes tours, mascot races, handicapping seminars, and non-wagering horse racing. The 32nd annual Open House will be held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission and parking are FREE.

The National Steeplechase Association will get a jump on the racing season by presenting four hurdle races and one turf race that will serve as qualifiers for the regular Saratoga meet. These exciting races which get underway every 45 minutes beginning at 1 p.m.

Designed to support community organizations, Saratoga’s Open House raises nearly $15,000 every year for local not-for-profit groups through the sale of deeply discounted food and beverages. Visitors can choose from a variety of tasty treats, including hamburgers, fried dough, sausage and peppers, and ice cream sandwiches. All proceeds benefit area charitable organizations such as the Knights of Columbus; Girl Scouts of Northeastern New York; Racing City Chorus; Saratoga Rowing; Saratoga Elks; Watervliet Civic Center; Brookside Museum; St. Clements School; Saratoga EOC; Jewish Community Center; and Saratoga Preservation Foundation. The Saratoga Economic Opportunity Council, a non-profit program that provides aid to low- and/or fixed-income families in need, will greet patrons at the gates in an effort to collect non-perishable canned goods.

The Puppet People will be here this year too, offering a fun festival of frolics called Puppet Potpourri, which is a puppet variety show that showcases trick marionettes, mouth puppets, rod puppets and a show full of laughs for all ages. They will provide three performances, taking place at 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. And don't forget the Mascot Race! The ninth-annual mascot race, which pits famed mascots from local sports teams and well-known brands against one another in a one-of-a-kind race down the main track. Post time is noon. Get ALL the info on this great family event that benefits so many local organizations right here, and we will see you there!

Sunday you won't want to miss the exciting competition going on both on AND off the field at Saratoga Polo Association. I'll be a guest judge once again in the Adirondack Appliance Cast Iron Chef Competition! Another great kid singer will be opening the match singing the National Anthem and then I'll have the tough job of choosing a winner between Max London's, The Wishing Well, Mouzon House and Mazzone Hospitality. This is going to be TOUGH. But I can't WAIT to try their dishes. The last round was unbelievable and I know this round will not disappoint. Come out to watch the ponies AND the heated Chef competition on the sidelines!

Need more ideas? Don't forget these great options too:

  • Friday, July 13th is Family Night at the NYC Ballet at Saratoga Performing Arts Center, performances that night include Russian Seasons (Desyatnikov/Ratmansky), In the Night (Chopin/Robbins) and Firebird (Stravinsky/Balanchine & Robbins). Plus Kids Get in FREE with GE for Family Night! GE is pleased to provide FREE Admission for kids 12 and under with a paying adult! For More Information Call: (518) 584-9330.
  • This Saturday, July 14th is Wilton's Community Day ParkFest 2012 at Gavin Park from 11am to 9pm. Get ready for an exciting, fun-filled day, which includes a very eclectic craft fair, amusement park rides, food vendors, contests, live music, shows and is topped off with an awards ceremony and a fantastic fireworks display at dusk! Admission is free and activities include a craft fair, climbing wall, pony rides, face painting and more! For More Information Call: (518) 584-9455. When you go, don't forget to bring a non-perishable food item to be donated to the Wilton Food Pantry!