The Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce hosted a preview of Summer 2023, which included panel discussions and Q&As with racing and entertainment industry executives. (Emma Lars – MediaNews Group)
Saratoga Springs, NY – There is always something to do in Hot Springs in the summer, and after the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce’s “Summer 2023 Preview Events,” that statement couldn’t be more true.
A panel of four experts in the thoroughbred racing industry and area entertainment venues came together to share their excitement for what is bound to be a glorious summer.
Among them is Elizabeth Sobol, President and CEO of the Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC), who will share about the plethora of events taking place at the SPAC this summer.
The first thing Sobol discussed was Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival, which will be held over the weekend of June 24-25. The festival is one of the longest-running jazz festivals in North America, and according to Sobol, it’s a constantly reinventing festival that brings amazing artists every year.
Another set of highlights is the summer concerts to be held at the SPAC. This opening weekend will be a big one, with the opening concert being TLC with Shaggy and the next two shows being Dead & Company’s final tour. Another big headline that was pointed out was Guns N’ Roses, which will join the SPAC on September 1st.
“We’re world-renowned for the Saratoga Performing Arts Center,” Sobol said. “The New York City Ballet and the Philadelphia Orchestra are considered two of the greatest cultural entities in the world. They are part of our summer, here at Saratoga. There is no place on earth like this with a premier amphitheater, and we Nationally known for its acoustics, two of the world’s greatest cultural entities, as well as world-class horse racing, incredible nature, and stunning flagship New York State Parks.
“It’s a great place to enjoy everything.”
On the topic of ballet, many new, more modern performances will take place on the SPAC stage that Sobol urges people to see.
According to her, if you’re willing to give ballet a try, one of the shows you should try to attend is “SPAC Premieres,” which features music by Solange Knowles and James Blake and is choreographed by young choreographers. She joked: “For people who still think of the New York City Ballet as a lot of old white choreographed to dead white music, it’s not just that anymore, it’s really shifted.”
When it comes to entertainment in the same vein, the Saratoga casinos also have a lot going on.
“We played games on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights in July and August,” shared Skip Carlson, Saratoga Casino’s vice president of external affairs. “It’s free at 6pm. It’s very low key. So if you’re looking for something to do in the evening, this is a great opportunity. The casino is also a great opportunity, if you know, if you have a nice One day, it needs to be taken back or you need to increase.”
A major event was the Saratoga Hospital Gala, which, according to Carson, was attended by about 1,000 people. Held on the football field on the casino grounds, the event is a great excuse to meet friends and support a great cause. This year’s gala will be held on August 2nd and the theme will be a luau.
Carlson said reservations are a must and need to be done as quickly as possible.
“This town is really getting sold out,” Carlson warned. “I don’t want to say it’s sold out, but I’ll tell you we (Saratoga Casino Hotel) are 80 percent sold out this week. We’re 95 percent sold out right now over the weekend. So if you have a friend Come and book today.”
Carlson and Sobol also want to share other tips for those coming this summer so they can make the most of their time in the city. Carlson urged people to get off the beaten track and to some remote bars. These venues are sometimes overlooked, but the service is good and drinks are often cheaper, he said.
Sobol’s proposals include encouraging people to take advantage of how bike-friendly the city is, and supporting local artists. Since moving to the area in the fall of 2016, Sobol says she’s come to understand that while venues like SPACs and downtown venues like Caffe Lena (which she touts has a 60-year history of bringing in incredible artists) both Great, and so many other places to hear great music.
“It’s a city that has live music 365 days a year,” Sobol said. “It’s been amazing. So get out there and support local artists and hear some great performances.”
In addition to all the entertainment and cultural events that take place this summer, another important event that attracts the public is the racetrack.