Is community spirit hokey?
Get out the bicycle, the baby carriage (with or without the
baby), and the little old red wagon and sign up to roll your decorated wheels
through downtown Saratoga Springs on Aug. 2 in a resurrection of the Floral
Fete Promenade, a popular event at the turn of the last century.
The fete (rhymes with bet, like at the racetrack) is one of the
major community events planned as part of the months-long celebration of this
being the 150th year of thoroughbred racing in Saratoga.
Sign up, decorate your bicycles, wagons and carriages with
flowers, and join the 7:30 p.m. stroll from Broadway at Route 50 south to
Congress Park, where an ice cream social will be ready and waiting — as well as
$1,000 for the most creativity entry and cash prizes ranging from $50 to $150 for
a bunch of categories, including best kid’s bike, best adult bike, best wagon,
best baby carriage and best contraption on wheels.
Floral Fete planners are looking to fill 100 positions in the
promenade asap — men, women and children of all ages are welcome to participate.
Learn more and sign up at www.saratoga150.com
Marylou Whitney, who was instrumental in this and previous
reincarnations of the floral fete, will lead the promenade, accompanied by
flower-laden vintage cars, carriages and floats. But the whole idea is to get
you — yes, you — on board.
Whitney and her husband, John Hendrickson, wanted to host a Saratoga
150 event in which the whole community is invited to participate.
So they came up with the floral fete and are inviting the
community to an ice cream social at which five flavors of Stewart’s will be dished
out while supply lasts. The event will also include live ragtime music,
performing children’s groups, and strolling entertainers, will abound. Whitney
and Hendrickson are also springing for 150 free carousel rides and a “150th
The date of the event, Aug. 2, is the eve of the Whitney Stakes
at Saratoga Race Course and the 150th anniversary of the first race in
It’s a big deal. Whitney, Hendrickson, fellow members on the
Saratoga 150 Committee and assorted other people are doing their darnedest to
rev up community spirit on this occasion. Many local florists have donated
flowers for floats and carriages, according to co-chair Maureen Lewi.
No need to get sentimental about the good old days or wring
your hands about the future. Get ready for a good old promenade. Get in the
spirit. Make a plan, sign up.
This is going to be fun.