For the third consecutive season, the Monticello Harness Horsemen’s Association and the Monticello Casino & Raceway will host a Fabulous Fantasy Holiday Party
from 1:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. for local children --- toddlers to 12-year-olds --- on Sunday, December 18.
The party will be run in conjunction with a special racing program which will be offered that afternoon.
“But unlike in years past, the Children’s Holiday Party will be on the third floor of the grandstand this year," said Alan Schwartz, the president of the Monticello Harness Horsemen’s Association. “However, the various activities of the past will still be part of the day’s events."
Monticello Raceway horsemen will be taking the attending children on a magical make-believe journey to the North Pole, where they will visit with and have photos taken with Santa and his elves in Snowy Candy Cane Land. There will also be various games to play and the youngsters can have their faces made-up by a professional face painter… and Elvis will be in the building!
On the track's apron, miniature horses will be made up like reindeer, and the children will be able to pet them and have photos taken with them.
“We have heard from good sources that 'Rudolph' might make an appearance as the Good Will Ambassador for the Candy Cane Pace, the special holiday race and featured event on the racetrack that day,” Schwartz added. “And Congresswoman Aileen Gunther will be joining us that day, too.”
Last year Santa arrived at the party on a cart pulled by a white horse, and many of the children joined the ‘jolly ole sole’ in the track's winner's circle. Later, Santa and his white horse led the post parade for the Candy Cane Pace, which was won by Biding Her Time, who was driven by Jimmy Taggart, Jr. After the pacer's victory, many of the children joined in the winner’s circle ceremonies and everyone l received a candy cane.
“I have notified all the local schools and we plan on putting posters in the supermarkets, post offices and at area merchants,” said Dale Berenson, executive secretary of the Monticello Harness Horsemen’s Association. “All children are welcome.”
Attendance to the Holiday Party is free and it promises to be a day the kids will remember. Sweet treats, cookies, hot chocolate and presents will be given to all the attending children courtesy of Monticello Raceway, the horsemen and generous anonymous donors.
First-race post time for the race card will be at 12:25 p.m.