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Monticello Christmas Party A Success


Published: December 20, 2010 4:57 pm ET

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They came… and they came… and they came. By the time Monticello Raceway's December 19 race card had been completed, the room where the children’s Holiday Party was held was still packed.

The event was sponsored by the Monticello Harness Horsemen’s Association and Monticello Raceway for the second consecutive season.

“We had over 400 people join us for what was a very entertaining afternoon for many of the area's children,” MHHE Executive Secretary Dale Berenson said. “It was just marvelous. The kids, and even the parents… and grandparents… had a wonderful time.

“The food and the beverages were great…and plentiful. The Monticello Casino and Raceway's food and beverage department was outstanding, making sure there was plenty for everyone. There were cookies of all sorts, cup cakes in many flavours, hot chocolate, pastries and all kinds of goodies. There were games for the children and (an) Elvis impersonator, 'Elvis’ Lost Brother' -- Eric Bressi -- entertained the crowd all afternoon. It was just wonderful.”

“Everyone loved it. The horsemen did a bang up job, too, chaperoning and making sure all were satisfied.”

The Children’s Holiday Party -- for toddlers to kids 12 years of age -- was officially to run from 1:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. on the special Sunday afternoon card, but the children and parents began to arrive an hour or so before. While they waited, many went out to the track apron where they were able to feed carrots to the miniature horses that were dressed up for the holiday.

For them, the feature race was the Candy Cane Pace, which was won by Monticello native Jimmy Taggart, Jr. He guided Biding Her Time to a 2:01 triumph. Many of the children joined Taggart in the winner’s circle, but not before each was handed a candy cane by one of the horsemen that were assisting in the project.

After the race, Santa arrived via jog cart and was greeted by the cheering children. He then went inside the Casino -- followed by a throng of kids -- to the Hype Room where the party was on-going. He took a seat on his 'throne' and talked with the children -- many of which sat on his lap and told him what they wanted for Christmas.

During the racing program, Barb and Liz Stubits, who brought the miniature horses for the afternoon regalia, took a few of them to the winner's circle to greet the drivers after they had won a race.

“To say it was a grand time for all involved would be an understatement,” Berenson said. “How wonderful it is to do something for the community.”


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