Tuesday, June 1, 2010

"Wing Off" Spices Up Garden City for Annual Belmont Festival

As part of the celebration of the 142nd running of the Grade 1, $1 million Belmont stakes, the Belmont Festival at Garden City will be a flavorful affair with the return of the ever popular “Wing Off” chicken wing competition on Friday, June 4 from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

During the Wing Off, local restaurants will compete to be named the venue that serves up Garden City’s best chicken wing. 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. The winner of the Wing Off will be crowned Garden City’s chicken wing champion at 9:30 p.m.

Restaurants participating in this year’s Garden City Wing Off include Uptown Grille, J.P. McGeevers, Murphy’s Bar and Grill, Walk Street and Brews Brothers, in addition to the Garden City Fire Department. All proceeds from the Wing Off benefit the Mollie Biggane Melanoma Foundation, named for a Garden City resident who died from melanoma at the age of 20.

The Wing Off is part of the annual Garden City Belmont Festival. This year’s festival, held on the eve of the “Test of the Champion,” will take place on Seventh Street on Friday, June 4 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

“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.”

In addition to the chicken wing competition, the Garden City Belmont Festival will feature live music from the United States Air Force band Afterburner and other local bands; family-friendly activities including clowns, street performers and face painters; bounce rides courtesy of Coca-Cola; 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.

Garden City children will have the opportunity to showcase their love of horse racing by taking part in a children’s poster contest. The top three winners will be awarded cash prizes from Sunflower Fine Art Gallery and their names will appear in the local papers.

Artwork will be displayed in store windows along Seventh Street and Franklin Avenue. Designated locations of each child’s artwork will be posted on www.sunflowerfineart.com/events beginning on June 1.

The Garden City Belmont Festival is sponsored by The 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 mgrippo@nassauida.org.

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, with the cooperation of the Village of Floral Park.

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

About the Belmont Stakes

The Belmont Stakes is the third leg of thoroughbred racing’s prestigious Triple Crown, also comprising the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes. The Belmont Stakes is held on an annual basis at Belmont Park in early June, with the 142nd running being held this year on Saturday, June 5. Only eleven horses have swept the Triple Crown, with the most recent being Affirmed in 1978. Belmont Park is operated by The New York Racing Association, Inc., which also operates Aqueduct Racetrack in Jamaica, NY and Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga, NY. Visit www.BelmontStakes.com, the official online home of the Belmont Stakes, for more information.