The 121st racing season is kicking off at Fort Erie Race Track on Tuesday, May 29, and it is sure to be one of the most exciting season openers in Fort Erie Race Track history. Racing begins at 4:20 p.m. followed by a free concert from The Caverners, Canada’s premiere Beatles tribute show. Opening Day will also feature food trucks, live music, and a free t-shirt giveaway with the purchase of a Fort Erie racing program.
Fort Erie will host 40 race dates on Tuesdays and Sundays from May 29 to October 16. Twilight Tuesdays will once again be a highlight of the racing meet, followed by free summer concerts at the Tiki Bar after the races. Sunday racing begins on June 10 at 1:20 p.m., along with the return of the farmers’ market which runs every Sunday throughout the season.
The border oval is well known for its picturesque infield and all-natural dirt and turf racing surfaces, and Facilities Manager Drew Cady has both tracks in prime condition for opening day. “We had a late spring this year, but the main track has been in top shape for training over the last month,” said Cady, “and if the weather keeps cooperating the turf course will be in excellent condition for opening day as well.”
Fort Erie has introduced a number of new attractions this year. In addition to The Caverners concert on opening day, some of the new events include country night on July 17 and wiener dog races on August 12. “One of our goals this year is to expand our fan base and introduce our venue to a new audience. Our hope is these new events will help us do that,” said Chief Operating and Financial Officer of the Fort Erie Live Racing Consortium, Tom Valiquette.
“We are really looking forward to the start of a new season. We have been working hard over the winter and have made a lot of changes to improve the customer experience.” Fort Erie Race Track now offers free guest Wi-Fi and will also be introducing Fast Bet Mobile in June, which will allow fans to easily create an account and bet right from their seats using a smart phone or tablet. “We know that fans want to be able to wager from their devices, especially on busy days such as the Prince of Wales Stakes,” continued Valiquette. “We’ve put the infrastructure in place that will allow them to do that this season.”
Fort Erie Race Track’s signature event, the 83rd running of the Prince of Wales Stakes will take place on Tuesday, July 24, with the first race beginning at 4:20 p.m. After the races will be a free concert at the Tiki Bar by The Associates.
“I am very excited about this season,” said track announcer Frank Salive, who will be returning to the announcer’s booth for his third year at Fort Erie. Salive has been calling races for standardbred and thoroughbred tracks for over four decades. “I really love the environment and people at Fort Erie and am eager to get this season underway.”
This summer, racing fans can expect to see the return of all popular promotions, including family day on Sunday, July 29, as well as the Puss N Boots Cup and the 7th annual Circle the Course fundraiser for the Canadian Cancer Society and Community Outreach Program Erie on Sunday, Sept. 2.
Live racing begins at 4:20 p.m. on opening day, and The Caverners concert will begin after racing ends, about 7:30 p.m. The event is rain or shine, with the concert moving indoors in the event of inclement weather. For a full racing and event schedule for the upcoming season, visit www.forterieracing.com. Parking and admission are always free at Fort Erie Race Track, and all ages are welcome to attend.