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Hamburg Chamber of Commerce brings back a Night at the Races

Hamburg Chamber of Commerce is inviting the public to explore the Buffalo Raceway at The Fairgrounds on Friday, June 13.
[ohoto1]HAMBURG — Off to the races, the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce will hold a night of horses, jockeys and food on Friday, June 13 at the Buffalo Raceway at The Fairgrounds for the “Night at the Races.”

This event has taken place before, but it is a first-time execution for chamber members Erin Erickson, senior director of marketing and business development and Executive Director Cyndi Galley.

“We basically just wanted to do another fun event for everybody,” Erickson said. She noted that chamber members remember the event from the past and said she hopes to recreate that fun, once again.

“Years ago there used to be a Hamburg Chamber night,” said Jon Cramer, director of operations at the raceway. “We’re excited to bring it back this year.”

The Buffalo Raceway, home to seasonal harness racing, has been holding races for more than 70 years.

“We’ve been doing it since 1942,” Cramer said.

For the remainder of the season, the track will hold races Wednesday, Friday and Saturday evening and Sunday afternoons.

Jockeys from Western New York and surrounding regions will be harness racing horses. Different from the more commonly known style of horse racing, the jockey is strapped into a little cart called a sulky that attaches to a harness on the horse.

Night at the Races is a casual evening event that will be open to the public; ticket-holders will be treated to all inclusive perks.

Doors will open at 6 p.m. and a complementary dinner buffet will be served throughout the evening. Food will be provided by the Hamburg Gaming facility’s Midway Buffet. The menu, which Hamburg Gaming General Manager Ellsworth Gaskill helped put together, includes: a mixed green salad, sirloin fillet with a red wine finishing butter, balsamic grilled chicken, lemon thyme roasted potatoes, grilled vegetables, rice pilaf and dessert.

Also included in the ticket price are coffee and soda, a tip sheet, a Hamburg Gaming free play, a Buffalo Raceway bet, a racing day program book and a reserved seat in the clubhouse.

The first post, or race, will commence at 6:40 p.m. and subsequent races will run until approximately 10 p.m.

According to Erickson, it will be a “nice time to come out and socialize, mix and mingle, and meet some new people, while also enjoying the excitement of a horse race.”

A variety of raffles will also be available, for attendees to try their hands. Two spots are available to learn more about riders and the horses with a tour of the horse stables “which are not usually open to the public,” Erickson said.

One lucky winner will score a visit to the announcers booth. Also, there is a chance to win a photo opportunity with a winning horse in the Winner’s Circle.

A couple of people may win money in the Buffalo Raceway bets and one person may win a monetary voucher toward Hamburg Gaming, as well.

During the entire event, a shuttle service will be available to transport guests back and forth from the raceway to the Hamburg Gaming facility.

For both gamblers and non-betters, this event “appeals to a mixed audience,” according to Erickson. It will be a means of entertainment for people who want to try something new or it will be made interesting for gamblers that want to place bets. There is no age restriction for this event.

“Between the racetrack and hamburg gaming, it’s a fun time,” Cramer said.

Sponsors for the event include: Melanie’s Eats & Sweets, Buffalo Raceway, Hamburg Gaming, Pace Management, Optimal CFO, Davis Financial, First Niagara Bank, Hamburg Community Development, Zounds Hearing of Western New York and Evans Bank.

Tickets will be available for presale at the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce Office, located at 6122 S. Park Ave. in Hamburg, or by calling 649-7917 to have them mailed or to pick up at the Buffalo Raceway.

“We’re encouraging people to sign up early because there is a space limit,” Erickson said.

For more information about the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce or more details on the event or venue, visit www.hamburg-chamber.org or about the Buffalo Raceway, visit www.buffaloraceway.com.
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