Theresa St. John[/avatar]With its groundbreaking in 1984, renovation and new expansion in 2011, Saratoga's City Center has been the gracious host to numerous events held by corporations and organizations throughout the facility's history in Saratoga Springs. When I walked down the hallways of the lobby myself, I saw an exhibit of beautiful wedding gowns from days gone by,a stunning bronze piece depicting the men who fought for our freedom at Saratoga's Battlefield and the colorful silks of a jockey with the shafts of his racing harness posed along another wall. All three served to promote events going on in Saratoga and surrounding towns.
Conventions, proms, weddings, business meetings and trade shows are held in the many rooms of the City Center during the year. Catholic Charities and The Center for the Family often hold events to raise money for the community. The ' Festival Of Trees ' is one wonderful example, encouraging local businesses to purchase a holiday tree, decorate it for the holiday season and then sell the charming result during the evening hours of a winter's night downtown.
Saratoga Springs is all about family. Celebrations in the city throughout the year seem to concentrate on bringing families and friends together. From parades along Broadway, or children rolling pumpkins down Caroline in October, to Chowderfest in the late months of winter and the beloved Victorian Streetwalk that welcomes the spirit of the holidays with a step back in time, you can feel the family unit pull together. Revelers leave the everyday stresses behind, if only for a few hours.
Mark E. Baker, President of the Saratoga Springs City Center, appears to have the same exact idea in mind while planning the grand celebration of the complex's 30th year anniversary, this September 20th.
Ellsworth Jones Place will be closed from 10am-10pm, with numerous activities planned for the swelling crowd that is expected. The Saratoga Farmers Market will begin the day with the ' Kid's Cook Off ' at High Rock. BOCE's culinary students will be cooking food from local farms.
There will be a rock climbing wall, supplied by the National Guard, a petting zoo with pony rides, courtesy of Dream Ponies, and many musical groups playing throughout the day. Stewarts will feature .30 cent ice creams to help celebrate the City Center's anniversary.
I cannot wait for the passport promotion, called “Play Hide and Seek with Mr. B.” where I will take a booklet supplied by the Center and visit DBA member stores in the downtown area of Saratoga. I will be busy collecting at least 10 stamps on my passport ( probably dropping some money from my wallet at the same time ) then turning it in for a raffle drawing at the end of the day. I love the idea of including retailors in the day's joviality, keeping the community close in the Center's celebration.
Local artists with a love of painting will have easels set up, encouraging children to take a brush and create their own masterpiece to take home.
Near dusk, with the street still closed off to traffic, families can bring a blanket and sit together on the pavement and sidewalks, getting themselves ready for the day's finale. The movie ' Despicable Me 2 ' will be playing on a large screen for everyone's enjoyment.
The celebration's admission is free and The City Center wants to thank everyone in advance, for coming to help usher in the next 30 years of its success and involvement in both Saratoga and the community.