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Catch Up on Saratoga Springs News, Exciting Business Announcements, and More

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Stay informed and up-to-date with what's happening in our vibrant region! We've rounded up some of the top Saratoga Springs news, including local business headlines, major event announcements, community updates, and more.

New Playground Makes a Splash at Saratoga Springs' Waterfront Park

group of people pose in front of new playground holding ribbon
Photo Credit: Saratoga Chamber of Commerce

There's a new reason for families to visit Saratoga Springs' Waterfront Park – a fantastic new playground! Designed to be inclusive and engaging for children of all ages and abilities, the playground officially opened its doors this spring.

The 4,400-square-foot structure offers a wonderland of fun. Kids can zoom down thrilling slides, navigate challenging bridges, conquer climbing elements, and even take in the breathtaking views of Saratoga Lake through a special binocular viewing area.

"The kids can kind of play while the parents can sit and look at the water," said Saratoga Springs Recreation Department Director John Hirliman. "It's a perfect spot for families to relax and enjoy the fresh air."

This exciting addition to Waterfront Park is part of a larger revitalization effort. Funded by the previous City Council's Capital funds at a cost of $153,434, the playground joins the recently renovated bathrooms and gazebo at the park's lower level.

"It's always the best to see stuff like this, especially when kids are involved," said Mayor John Safford at the ribbon-cutting ceremony, highlighting the importance of projects that directly benefit the community's children.

Source: Saratogian

Check Out Saratoga Race Course's New Lineup of Food and Beverages for the 2024 Summer Meet

Image of bar with people in building with Jim Dandy Bar displayed on the top

Saratoga Race Course's 40-day-long summer meet is heating up with a new food and beverage lineup.

The meet features the newly renovated, horseshoe-shaped Jim Dandy bar presented by Great Jones Distilling Co. This popular bar in the lower Clubhouse will serve two delicious track-themed cocktails (Great Jones Belmont Jewel and Saratoga Sunrise) in commemorative cups you get to keep.

For an extensive list of options, pair the bar with the return of the Finish Line Grill, the newly upgraded Clubhouse Grill, the Frozen in Time stand conversion to the Trifecta Taqueria, or the new Country Corner Cafe pop-up cart!

Corner shaped food counter service location labeled the Clubhouse Grill

With the Clubhouse Grill serving hot foods for the first time (such as a southern pork tenderloin sandwich), and the Finish Line Grill debuting new signature flatbreads, there is no shortage of good eats for this year's meet.

You also can't have a meal without an ice cold drink to wash it down. To help with that, the Race Course offers a host of new beverages to try, including Surfside canned cocktails, the Superfecta Summer Ale, and wine-by-the-bottle offerings.

Take note that cash will not be accepted for food and beverage purchases during the summer meet, with the exception of the Post Bar, Shake Shack, and Papa Rosso.

While the meet itself is what draws people to the track, the food and drink offerings are going to be what makes it hard to leave. Stop by the track to see what the new menus are all about!

Get tickets to the track >>

Source: NYRA

Bittersweet & Ivy Boutique Debuts New Brick-and-Mortar Location

Close-up of green Bittersweet & Ivy Sign

This summer, Bittersweet & Ivy opened up their first official location. The brick-and-mortar shop is located on Broad Street in Schuylerville and is the perfect place to find gifts for loved ones or splurge on something for yourself. 

Bittersweet & Ivy offers a large variety of items, from gifts to trinkets and decor. They can even provide custom-made items like junk drawer memory boxes.

The quaint shop's atmosphere, in addition to the care that goes into the products being sold, creates a shopping experience everyone should check out.

See their Facebook page for a look at their products:

The Saratoga Jazz Festival Has a New Sponsor Starting in 2025

spac grounds
Saratoga Jazz Festival

Since its inaugural year in 1978, the Saratoga Jazz Festival at SPAC has become an early summer favorite among both locals and visitors in Saratoga Springs. Starting in 2025, however, the festival will have an updated name thanks to its new sponsor, GE Vernova.

In a recent press release, SPAC announced that GE Vernova will become the new primary sponsor of the annual Saratoga Jazz Festival. The event, originally called the "Newport Jazz Festival at Saratoga,” was renamed the Freihofer's Saratoga Jazz Festival when Freihofer's Baking Company Inc. became its sponsor. This partnership lasted from 1998 to 2024.

The new partnership between SPAC and GE Vernova will run for five years, with GE Vernova committing $200,000 annually. In addition, the festival will be renamed the Saratoga Jazz Festival, presented by GE Vernova.

GE Vernova CEO Scott Strazik said in the press release, “This new partnership reinforces our commitment to investing in the communities where we work, live, and lead. We are truly honored and excited to support this important cultural institution.”

This collaboration will be beneficial for both organizations and the Capital Region community. Check out next year's Saratoga Jazz Festival on June 28-29, 2025!

"Ugly" Ice Cream Brings Sweet Treats (and a Twist) to Saratoga Lake

Ugly Ice Cream building set in front of beach on Saratoga Lake

Get ready for a new twist on ice cream at Saratoga Lake! Ugly Ice Cream, owned by Ariel Pagan and Mechanicville's John and Joe Starr, opened its doors at Brown's Beach on Friday, May 3rd.

This isn't your average ice cream stand. Ugly Ice Cream offers classic soft-serve with an "ugly" twist. Want your sundae served with a smashed-up base and a scowl from the employee? Just ask for it "ugly"! The same goes for their hot dogs, pizza, and other snacks - customization is encouraged.

But don't worry, "ugly" just refers to the fun presentation, not the taste. Ugly Ice Cream promises "Fun Delicious" with a menu featuring soft-serve flavors, toppings, packaged ice cream, hot dogs, pizza, and more. They even plan to showcase customer creations and offer a selfie mirror for capturing those "ugly" treats.

Located conveniently outside the Brown's Beach access, Ugly Ice Cream is open to everyone, even those who aren't entering the beach itself. Hours are expected to be 11 am to 9 pm Sunday through Thursday, and 11 am to 10 pm on Fridays and Saturdays. The season runs from May 3rd to October 6th.

"We just want joy exploding from the brand," says a spokesperson to News 10. "We want people to come there and just be lifted up and their spirits lifted up."

So ditch the ordinary and prepare for some "ugly" fun (and deliciousness) at Saratoga Lake this summer!


The Saratoga Builders Association Awards Scholarships to Future Construction Leaders!

two students are awarded large checks and pose for picture with two older men

The Saratoga Builders Association (SBA) is proud to announce its annual scholarship program awarding $1,000 each to two deserving students pursuing careers in construction. This year's recipients are Amy Grumbling of Amsterdam and Jude Leight of Ballston Spa.

Grumbling, currently attending Russell Sage College for a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior and Spatial Design, balances her studies with work at Teakwood Builders.

Leight, a senior at Ballston Spa High School, will be continuing his education at Hudson Valley Community College to pursue a degree in Construction Tech and Management.

The SBA Scholarship program is open to high school seniors and college students residing in Saratoga County and looking to build a future in the construction industry. This vital program supports the next generation of builders and ensures a skilled workforce for years to come.

See the Expertise in Action at the Saratoga Showcase of Homes

outside of a 2022 showcase home with lights lighting up the inside of house and view of outdoor patio
2022 Home: Gorgeous Witt Construction Showcase Home

The Saratoga Showcase of Homes, the premier annual event hosted by the SBA, returns this fall for two exciting weekends. This fun tradition offers the chance to tour meticulously crafted homes built by the region's most extraordinary builders.

When you tour these gorgeous local homes, you'll get an exclusive look at the cutting edge of construction. Witness the latest trends in building techniques, products, interior designs, and furnishings.

Tickets are valid for all four days (October 5-6 & 12-13, 2024; 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM) so you can explore at your own pace and gather inspiration for your dream home.

Mark your calendars and get ready to be amazed by the craftsmanship and innovation on display!

Source: SBA

Trot Over to the New Wild Horse Restaurant & Bar This Summer

bar with chair stools

Previously known as Dango's in Saratoga, the new Wild Horse is almost ready to make its Saratoga summer debut! Located at 38 Caroline Street, the newly transformed restaurant is expected to open in time for racing season.

Lucas White and Kevin Decker bought Dango's in September 2023, with hopes of creating a local hotspot for a variety of demographics. These hopes were changed slightly when the owners found out the restaurant had to be gutted and redone, which ended up costing them $1.5 million.

However, the renovations at The Wild Horse have turned out beautifully, featuring a new state-of-the-art kitchen upstairs, a VIP room with a balcony, and updated walls, ceilings, wiring, and sprinkler systems.

bar and seating area in the room

Along with an upgraded menu offering a greater selection of food options compared to Dango's, The Wild Horse will also have an outdoor bar and gazebos, perfect for post-race celebrations.

Will we see you at The Wild Horse this summer?


Cardona's Market Commemorates Reopening of Saratoga Springs Location

man eating a sandwich outdoors by a sign

After completing an extensive renovation project, Cardona's Market reopened its Saratoga Springs location on Tuesday, July 9. The reopening featured a ribbon-cutting ceremony with appearances from Mayor John Safford and Saratoga live TV personality Richard Migliore, who debuted a sandwich named after him.

Renovated with the addition of a 1,400-square-foot, full-service kitchen, the market now features ready-to-serve hot food, including Italian favorites such as penne alla vodka, chicken meatballs, and more.

Three of the market's popular sandwiches from the Latham location have been renamed to commemorate the local community. One sandwich, named "The Thoroughbred" is an ode to Saratoga's Horse Racing Heritage.

The new renovation has meant big changes for the market, and customers should stop in and check it out for themselves!

Find things to do in the Saratoga area >>