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What you need to know for 01/19/2017

Lots of fun for the price of a wager at Bettor's Ball

Lots of fun for the price of a wager at Bettor's Ball

There’s no reason not to dance the night away at the Saratoga Springs City Center tonight.

There’s no reason not to dance the night away at the Saratoga Springs City Center tonight.

The “$2 Bettor’s Ball” is the latest installment in this summer’s Saratoga 150 celebration, which commemorates the start of racing in the city in 1863. The evening promises cheap food and beverages and a lot of music and dancing.

“It is a dance event,” said City Center Executive Director Mark Baker, who has pledged to show up in a blue suit and white hat.

To ensure dancing, the evening will feature three ballrooms of live music spanning seven decades. Doc Scanlon’s Band will be playing songs from the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s, Party of Three will be rocking out with songs from the 1970s and ’80s and Gravity will offer the most recent tunes, with music from the 1990s and 2000s. There will also be a disc jockey showering guests with music as they enter the venue.

Baker said spanning the different eras of music is a way to pay homage to the history of the track, even though the range falls about eight decades short of the beginning of racing in Saratoga. He said all the performers will deliver “very danceable tunes.”

And this won’t be a stuffy black-tie affair.

“We’ve been saying come dressed for a festive event,” Baker said.

Admission is free with a Saratoga 150 medallion or $10 at the door, but all attendees must be at least 21. Proceeds raised from the evening will benefit backstretch charities.

Once inside the City Center, guests will find the name of the event applies to all the food, soda and beer. Only wine will be more than $2. Catering will be handled by the Holiday Inn.

The event runs from 7 to 11 p.m., with entry limited to people with a medallion until 7:30 p.m.

Baker said unlike private parties or galas in the past that were intended for a select few, everyone is encouraged to come inside tonight. A crowd of 3,500 to 5,000 is anticipated, although this summer’s Floral Fete and Ice Cream Social wildly exceeded the expected crowd.

“This is the last large public celebration of the Saratoga 150,” Baker said.

Parking is available behind the City Center and in nearby parking garages on Church Street and Woodlawn Avenue. Ellsworth Jones Place, which runs beside the City Center, will be closed to traffic for the evening.

Sponsors for the event include Saratoga Hospital, Cudneys Cleaners, Mary Gavin and James Lavigne.

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