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columbus day

October 12, 2019 - 12:42pm
posted by Billie Owens in sports, harness racing, Batavia Downs, columbus day.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

The final matinee of the 2019 meet at Batavia Downs will be held on Columbus Day Monday (Oct. 14) with post time at 1:15 p.m.

Besides a full card of great harness racing action featuring the fillies and mares Open Pace, there are also some great food specials throughout the facility during this Batavia Downs traditional event. 

The clubhouse will feature their famous Center Street Smoke House chicken barbecue special from noon until 3 p.m. For only $12.95 you will receive a complete chicken dinner with sides plus $10 in gaming Free Play and a $2 horse wager at the track. 

If chicken is not what you’re craving, there will also be $1 Sahlen hot dogs, $1 draft beer and $1 soda available at the Homestretch Grill from noon until the last race. This will be the final dollar day of the meet.  

On track programs will also cost only $1 and will be available at all the regular on-track outlets. 

After Monday’s card of racing there are only 24 nights of racing left in the season, which runs through Saturday (Dec. 14).

September 4, 2019 - 1:17pm

Submitted photo and press release:

The Great Pumpkin Farm’s Fall Festival will celebrate its 24th year as Western New York’s favorite fall destination when it opens at 10 a.m. on Sept. 14.

For seven consecutive weekends, the Fall Festival offers something for every age, including: amusement rides; hayrides; corn maze; the pumpkins and mum patch; pumpkin cannon; shooting gallery; homemade donuts, pies, cookies and pastries; Halloween decorations; and special events, such as the World Pumpkin Pie Eating Contest, the Trebuchet Contest and OINKtoberfest, New York State’s BBQ Cook-off – and so much more!

This year, the Great Pumpkin Farm has once again declared opening weekend – Sept. 14 and 15 – to be Armed Forces Weekend, in collaboration with WNYHeroes, Inc. The regular admission fee will be waived for active duty and retired military, police or fire department personnel who present proper identification to WNYHeroes representatives at the gate; they will also be permitted to bring one guest for free.

WNYHeroes representatives will also be on hand at an informational booth in the Event Center at the Great Pumpkin Farm.

Kicking things off on Armed Forces Weekend, there will be dinosaurs -- animatronic Vinnie and Teddy roaming the Corn Maze from noon to 4 p.m. both days in search of prey, and The Balloon Experts will be around, too, making their incredible balloon characters.

All attractions will be up and running on opening weekend. New features added this year include a Superheroes-themed Corn Maze and The Witches Brew Bar, which will be open every weekend, with live music inside or out (depending on weather). View the schedule.

The Great Pumpkin Farm is located at 11199 Main St. in Clarence and features plenty of free, onsite parking. 

Festival Hours: 10 a.m. to dusk, weekends beginning Sept. 14-15.

Admission: $8 per person; children 2 and under admitted free.

(Discounted tickets ($6.50) can be purchased at all Buffalo & Rochester Wegmans locations.)

The admission fee includes the Magic Show with Mike & Annie; Cackling Hen Revue Show; petting zoo; face painting; cow train ride; tractor-drawn hayride; children and adult pie-eating contests; scarecrow-making contest; pumpkin decorating contest; mummy-wrapping contest and kids’ craft area. 

Coupons with paid admission include: $2 off the Corn Maze; $1 off Panning for Gems; Boo Barn; Zombie Train; Jumbo Pillows; Pumpkin Slingshots (not available Oct. 20). 

For More Info: Complete event information is available at www.greatpumpkinfarm.com.

WEEKEND #2: Sept. 20-22– OINKtoberfest 2019, including Friday Night BBQ Preview Night (FREE admission); OINKtoberfest, New York State’s official KCBS-sanctioned BBQ Cookoff on Saturday; Zombies in the Corn Maze; The Balloon Experts and live music in The Witches Brew.

WEEKEND #3: Sept. 28-29 – The World Pumpkin Pie Eating Contest on Saturday; Funny Face Drawing Contest; Dinosaurs in the Corn Maze; The Balloon Experts; live music in The Witches Brew and Indepumpkins Dayon Friday night (with fireworks!).

WEEKEND #4: Oct. 5 & 6 – Superheroes Weekend and World Pumpkin Weigh Off on Saturday;Dinosaurs in the Corn Maze; The Balloon Experts; live music in The Witches Brew and In Jest Juggling & Comedy Show

WEEKEND #5: Oct. 12, 13 & 14 (Columbus Day Weekend) Pumpkin Drop on Monday (Columbus Day); Pumpkin Olympics; In Jest Juggling & Comedy Show; Zombies in the Corn Maze; The Balloon Experts; live music in The Witches Brew; Awesome Paws Rescue and $20 Wristband Day (Monday only)

WEEKEND #6: Oct. 19 & 20 - Annual Trebuchet (catapult) Contest with local high school teams (practice Saturday, contest Sunday); Zombies in the Corn Maze; The Balloon Experts and live music in The Witches Brew.

WEEKEND #7: Oct. 26 & 27 – FINAL WEEKEND; Costume Contest; The Balloon Experts and live music in The Witches Brew.

WEEKDAYS AT THE GREAT PUMPKIN FARM:

The Great Pumpkin Farm will also be open weekdays, Sept. 16 through Oct. 31, from 10 a.m. to dusk. There is NO admission on weekdays, except on Columbus Day, Oct. 14.

The Pumpkin Palace is open weekdays and features Halloween decorations, a bakery and candy store. Guests can purchase pumpkins; cornstalks; gourds and cider. There’s also a petting zoo, hay maze and playground. Group tours are also conducted during the week for school and community organization groups.

About the Great Pumpkin Farm and the Fall Festival

Since 1996, when it first hosted the World Pumpkin Weigh-off and was included in the Guinness Book of World Records for the first 1,000-pound pumpkin, the Great Pumpkin Farm in Clarence has grown. Its annual Fall Festival is Western New York’s largest fall family event in the region, and includes popular events such as OINKtoberfest, New York State’s Official BBQ Cookoff; the Pumpkin Trebuchet competition and the Pumpkin Farm Olympics.

October 11, 2014 - 2:55pm
posted by Billie Owens in Batavia Downs, Italian-American, columbus day.

Press release:

Batavia Downs Gaming is pleased to announce that Laurie Napoleone is the historic racetrack’s recipient of its annual Italian-American of the Year award. Napoleone will receive her award on Oct. 13, Columbus Day, with a special trackside ceremony after the seventh race. Mr. Joe Gerace, the first recipient of this award, will act as Master Ceremony.

She’ll also be joined by other past award winners, Chuck Zambito, Ray Cianfrini, Joe Teresi, Charles Ruffino and Russ Romano.

Laurie (Pero) Napoleone is the wife of Mark Napoleone and the proud mother of four children, Mark Jr., Ashley, Christen, and her angel, Michael. She is the daughter of the late Charles and Marien Pero, and the sister of Charles, David and Adelyn Pero.

Laurie earned her bachelor of science in Nursing from Niagara University in 1982 and started working as a registered nurse after graduation at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester. After her marriage to Mark in 1983, she returned to her hometown and began working at St. Jerome Hospital, where she stayed for 15 years. After playing a role in the initial stages of the merger between St. Jerome Hospital  and Genesee Memorial Hospital, she decided on a career change into a school setting.

She worked for the Batavia City Schools as a school nurse / teacher at Robert Morris Elementary School. She earned a master‘s in Nursing from the University of Phoenix in 2004. Laurie then took her love for healthcare as well as teaching, and is currently employed by the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership. There she is an instructor in the Health Careers Academy, a program for high school seniors who are interested in pursuing a career in healthcare while gaining college credits.

Along with her husband, Laurie is the co-founder/member of the Michael Napoleone Memorial Foundation. After the passing of their youngest son, Michael, at the age of 8 to Burkitt’s lymphoma, (an aggressive form of blood cancer) the Napoleones created a foundation in Michael’s memory. It  helps families facing the challenges of a pediatric cancer diagnosis, supports research efforts in pediatric blood cancers, and assists youth sports and youth activities in the community.

Laurie speaks on behalf of the foundation and is a strong advocate for the families; has lobbied in Washington for more support of research efforts; and is passionate about the Foundation’s mission.

In her free time, Laurie enjoys entertaining with family and friends, Zumba, and writing.

Batavia Downs Gaming is proud to honor Laurie Napoleone as its 2014 Italian-American of the Year.

October 11, 2014 - 2:43pm
posted by Billie Owens in Batavia Downs, sports, harness racing, columbus day.

By Tim Bojarski for Batavia Downs

A special matinee card of harness racing will be held on Columbus Day (Monday, Oct. 13) at Batavia Downs and the afternoon will do more than offer the finest racing in Western New York. A complete slate of activities to honor the Italian-American heritage that is so prevalent in Batavia starts at noon and runs through the last race.

When the 12-race card kicks off at 1:15, there are two special races to watch for that will honor some very special people.

The sixth race is the Italian-American driver’s race which is also known as “the dash for the cannolis.” All eight drivers in the race are of Italian descent and will vie for bragging rights for the coming year. Rock Vinci, Denny Bucceri, Andy Torre, Rich Mays, Mike Caprio, Paul Zambito Jr., John Mungillo and Drew Monti will go postward to vie for the coveted Italian pastry prize (as well as the purse money).

Then after the seventh race, Batavia Downs Gaming will honor their 2014 Italian-American of the Year, Laurie Napoleone. An instructor at the Health Careers Academy of the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership, Napoleone (along with her husband Mark) founded the Michael Napoleone Memorial Foundation in honor of their 8-year-old son who died of Burkitt’s lymphoma. The foundation is designed to help families facing the challenges of pediatric cancer and to assist youth sports and activities in the community.

For racing fans who attend the live card, there are plenty of food and beverage specials throughout the facility.

The clubhouse will feature their famous $9.95 chicken barbeque. And for every dinner purchased you will receive a voucher back for $5 of free-play in the casino. So it’s like getting your dinner for $4.95. This offer is good from noon to 3 p.m. and reservations are strongly recommended.

On the track apron you will find $1 draft beer, $1 Sahlen’s hot dogs and $1 sodas. All will be available from noon through the last race.

If you want to get your weekend started early, Batavia Downs Gaming is giving away a free trip to Las Vegas on tonight (Oct. 11) sponsored by Trade Winds Travel. That’s all you have to do is swipe your Player’s Club card once when you get there and you are automatically eligible to win. That's all you need to do to have a chance at this $950 vacation.

Another great deal being offered this evening is the “Match Play” quinella wager in the sixth race. For every two $5 quinella bets you make you will receive $10 worth of free-play on the gaming floor. So it’s like getting a free $10 wager.

The Columbus Day matinee will be the last afternoon card of racing for 2014. Our racing schedule for the remainder of the meet will be Wednesday, Friday and Saturday with post time at 6:35.

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