Marylou Whitney tapped into her acting roots for a video inviting people to Saratoga Springs this summer.
“I think the only thing older than me in Saratoga is the racetrack,” she says in a 30-second ad unveiled Thursday morning at the Saratoga Race Course. The video, which can be viewed at dailygazette.com, is part of this summer’s celebration of the race course’s 150th birthday.
“Everyone likes a party, darling,” she says with a coy smile, while wearing one of her trademark pink suits. “So don’t miss Saratoga’s biggest celebration in history.”
When asked about poking fun at herself in the video, with regards to the “darling” line, Whitney said she didn’t hesitate to help out. “I’ll do anything for Saratoga and I’ve been poking fun at myself for years to make Saratoga more exciting,” she said.
In addition to her sense of humor, Whitney is using her philanthropic side to help out this summer. She’ll be hosting a Floral Fete Promenade down Broadway on Aug. 2, which will culminate in an ice cream social in Congress Park. She thanked all the volunteers, including Stewart’s Shops, for helping making this event possible.
“I pray every day in a little chapel that it won’t rain,” she added of her own contribution.
The first signature event of the Saratoga 150 celebration is May 24 at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, where there will be family entertainment and an old-fashioned picnic. Admission to the event is $10 for an adult with one child or free for an adult and a child with a Saratoga 150 medallion, which can be purchased for $15 at all Adirondack Trust banking locations.
As part of this summer’s celebration, there will be 2 million cans of Coors Light beer that have the Saratoga 150 logo, which includes a jockey on a horse, and the Saratoga Springs Water Company is making about 4 million special-edition bottles with the logo, including sparking and noncarbonated brands.
Joe Dalton, a co-chairman of the Saratoga 150 committee, said the efforts to mark the anniversary will have benefits now and also into the future. For instance, he said the committee’s website will last beyond this summer.
“This is a five-month celebration and so what we’re looking for is an exposure of Saratoga and what it offers the visitor,” he said.
One of the lasting legacies of the summer will be a mechanical starting gate that was revitalized by Angelo Mazzone.
The bright red starting gate, which highlights the course’s history and displays the names of some of Mazzone’s operations, was gleaming along the rail Thursday morning.
“When we got it,” he said, “it was just a rusted piece of metal. We painted it and put new wheels on it and we fixed all the mechanics to make sure it works.”
The gate will be a prominent feature throughout the summer and Mazzone said it also will be on display at Belmont Park.
Information about all the Saratoga 150 events, including entry into the Floral Fete Promenade, can be found at www.saratoga150.com.