Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Garden City and Floral Park Welcome Return of Annual Belmont Festival

Garden City and Floral Park will take to the streets to celebrate the final leg of the Triple Crown with the return of the perennially popular Belmont Festival. Belmont Festival chairs for the villages of Garden City and Floral Park today announced that the annual celebrations held in honor of the Belmont Stakes will be held on Friday, June 4.

Both festivals will take place on the eve of the 142nd running of the Belmont Stakes, which marks the third and final leg of the Triple Crown.

“We are thrilled to host the Belmont Festival once again and appreciate the continuing support of civic, business, community leaders and local residents,” said Mary Dolan Grippo, chairwoman of the Garden City Belmont Festival. “This festival has become a great way for the community to celebrate one of the world’s premier sporting events - the running of the Belmont Stakes, the third leg of thoroughbred racing’s Triple Crown.”

Garden City Belmont Festival

The Garden City Belmont Festival will take place on Seventh Street from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. and will feature exciting entertainment, live music, family friendly activities, and a chicken wing throwdown.

The Garden City festival will be a flavorful affair featuring a “Wing Off” chicken wing competition from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. during which local restaurants will compete to be named Garden City’s chicken wing champion. Four restaurants are currently confirmed to take part in the competition: Uptown Grille, J.P. McGeevers, Murphy’s, and Walk Street. The winner of the Wing Off will be announced at 9:30 p.m.

Judges will be plucked from the general public as any passerby can get in on the action for $8, which includes a plate of wings and a ballot. All proceeds benefit the Mollie Biggane Melanoma Foundation, named for a Garden City resident who died from melanoma at the age of 20. Local restaurants wishing to participate should contact Tim Peeples at 516-459-3740.

The United States Air Force Band of Liberty rock band Afterburner will headline this year’s Garden City festival. Local bands will also take to the stage to entertain the festival goers.

Garden City children will have the opportunity to show their love of horse racing by taking part in a children’s poster contest. Participants in the children’s poster contest must be residents of Garden City who are currently enrolled in grades K - 6. Children are encouraged to submit images of thoroughbred racing on heavy white poster paper, sized 16”x 20”.

Students must print their name, age, grade and school on back of the artwork. Deadline for entry is Saturday, May 26 at 5 p.m. at Sunflower Fine Art Gallery, located at 172 Seventh Street in Garden City. All entries must be dropped off in person. The top three winners will be awarded cash prizes from Sunflower Fine Art and their names will appear in the local papers.

All artwork submitted by the deadline will be displayed in store windows along Seventh Street and Franklin Avenue. Designated locations of each child’s artwork will be posted on beginning on June 1.

The Garden City Belmont Festival will also feature family-friendly activities including clowns, street performers, face painters, bounce rides, the Belmont Park starting gate and Sammy the Bugler, who is renowned for his talented and spirited “Call to the Post” prior to the start of each thoroughbred race at Belmont Park.

The Garden City Belmont Festival is sponsored by Garden City Hotel; the Village of Garden City; and the New York Racing Association (NYRA).

For more information about the Garden City Belmont Festival, or to participate in any of its events, contact Mary Dolan Grippo at 516-571-1936 or via email at

Floral Park Belmont Festival

The Floral Park Belmont Festival will also take place Friday, June 4 on Tulip Avenue from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. The street festival will feature live music from three bands,
traditional Irish dance performances, bounce rides, face painters, and other family-friendly activities.

Additionally, festival goers will get a taste of Floral Park when a bevy of Floral Park’s restaurants and eateries line the streets to offer culinary samples and tastings.

The Floral Park Belmont Festival is sponsored by the Floral Park Chamber of Commerce and the New York Racing Association.

For more information about the Floral Park Belmont Festival, or to participate in any of its events, contact Kathleen Duggan at 516-512-0459.

The New York Racing Association, Inc. will provide fans with regular updates on the third jewel of racing’s Triple Crown on the official Twitter page of the Belmont Stakes, located at

The site is updated throughout the day whenever a news item, blog post, video or podcast is uploaded to the official website of the race, NYRA will also regularly update the page leading up to the 142nd running of the Grade 1, $1 million “Test of the Champion” on June 5.