SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – The New York Racing Association Inc. welcomed the "Dancing with the Stars" runner-up and "Shake It Up!" Disney Channel sensation Zendaya to headline a free family concert Sunday afternoon during the 33rd annual Open House at Saratoga Race Course.
The first concert in recent memory to be held at the race track featured a performance by Zendaya, who was joined on-stage by a full band, five dancers and three back-up singers, during the open house.
Organizers said the annual day of family fun and attractions marked the Opening Ceremonies for the 150th anniversary season at Saratoga Race Course, which officially opened its gates on July 19 for 40 days of racing through Labor Day, September 2.
"Hosting a free concert with Zendaya allows us to kick off the season in a grandiose way while staying true to our tradition of affordable family fun during this annual pre-season celebration," Rodnell Workman, vice president and chief marketing officer for NYRA, said. "We look forward to once again welcoming families through the gates as we launch a memorable anniversary season at Saratoga."
The track apron was available for non-ticketed general admission on a first-come, first-served basis. Blankets, chairs and pop-ups were not allowed.
Patrons also had the chance of getting a glimpse of the inner workings of the track with free backstretch tours every half hour.
This year's event continued the longstanding tradition of supporting local community and non-profit organizations through nominal fees for various games and activities and the sale of discounted food and beverages.
The backyard played host to a variety of activities including pony rides, inflatables, face painting, caricatures and mini golf, among other games.