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History, Legends, Lore and More – Guided Walking Tour

A 90 Minute Walking Tour that concentrates on historic Congress Park and the colorful characters who helped make Saratoga what it is!

This guided tour of legends and lore will walk you through history while sipping the famous mineral waters and strolling through the Victorian Congress Park.

Tours take place in July and August, each Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Tours will take place at 10:30AM rain or shine and leave from the Saratoga Heritage Area Visitor Center located at 297 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NY, 12866. $5.00 per person, children under 12 are free.

For more information, contact the Saratoga Heritage Area Visitor Center at (518) 587-3241, www.saratogaspringsvisitorcenter.com

The Congress Park Carousel is open for the late spring and summer season in Saratoga Springs, NY!

The Carousel in Congress Park is an historic wooden carousel that has all the charm of yesteryear with all the enjoyment of today. The carousel usually opens for the year in early May for weekends only, until the school year ends in mid to late June, then operates daily from late morning until dusk. After Labor Day, the carousel returns to weekend-only hours.

Carousel operating hours for 2015 (weather dependent):
May 8 – June 20, 2015
Friday 4pm – 8pm
Saturday 11am – 8pm
Sunday 12pm – 8pm
Also Open Memorial Day, Monday, May 25th

June 20 – September 7, 2015
7 Days A Week
11am – 8pm

Sept 11 – October 31, 2015
Friday 4pm – 8pm
Saturday 11am – 8pm
Sunday 12pm – 8pm

The Carousel is open through Halloween this year, which is October 31st. It is also open for many special events in Saratoga Springs, including the Victorian Streetwalk in December and First Night Saratoga on New Years Eve!

* Additional individual tokens may be purchased for $1 per ride at the Carousel.
For groups of 20 or more, please contact the Saratoga Convention & Tourism Bureau in advance at (518) 584-1531.

Call (518) 587-3550 x 2555 for additional details on hours, rain dates and other information on the Congress Park Carousel.

Saratoga Convention and Tourism Bureau Assumes Management of the Saratoga Heritage Area Visitor Center

On June 3rd, the Saratoga Convention and Tourism Bureau (SCTB) entered into a two and a half year agreement with the City of Saratoga Springs to manage the operations and programs of the Saratoga Heritage Area Visitors Center, located at 297 Broadway.

This opportunity will provide the SCTB another resource to market all Saratoga has to offer to the groups, conventions and visitors that frequent Saratoga County.  Heather McElhiney has relocated from the Bureau’s office to the Visitor Center to be the full-time Director there. Heather encourages everyone to stop in and say hello.

In the short time since taking over the operations there, the Convention & Tourism Bureau has added an additional part-time staff person, created a free Wi-Fi hotspot which extends onto the front lawn and into the beautiful courtyard area, extended the popular walking tours through the fall and expanded the marketing reach for the upcoming free summer concert series in Congress Park.

Stay tuned for announcements of additional activities, initiatives and changes to make the visitors to our region feel more welcome!

 

Brown Bag Lunch Lecture: The Creator of the Spirit of Life

Dana Pilson, Curatorial Researcher of Chesterwood, Daniel Chester French’s former summer home, studio and gardens in Stockbridge, MA, will present on the nationally significant “Spirit of Life” sculpture by Daniel Chester French and its setting in Congress Park, the Spencer Trask Memorial, designed by Henry Bacon. Ms. Pilson will highlight the sculptor’s artistic career and discuss the various preliminary stages of his work on The Spirit of Life sculpture in Congress Park in a powerpoint presentation with Samantha Bosshart, Executive Director of the Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation. Ms. Bosshart will discuss the restoration project to be completed by June 2015, the Memorial’s centennial, as part of the City of Saratoga Springs’ own centennial celebration.

The Brown Bag Lunch Lecture Series is a monthly, hour-long program presented in partnership by the Saratoga Springs Heritage Area Visitor Center and the Saratoga Springs Public Library. This event is conducted in the Dutcher Community Room located on the main floor of the library.

 

This free program is open to the public and begins promptly at noon. Tea and coffee are provided. For more information please contact the Visitor Center at 518-587-3241.

 

 

Lost Ski Areas In (and Near) Saratoga Springs

Lost ski area, Alpine Meadows

Alpine Meadows, photo courtesy of The Strader Family.

December 11, 2014

Let it snow, let it snow… if you are a skier, that white stuff is the right stuff! The Southern Adirondacks were once home to dozens of small ski areas that no longer exist today. In this presentation based on his book, “Lost Ski Areas of the Southern Adirondacks,” ski historian Jeremy Davis chronicles the history of these vanished ski areas with photographs and memories from those who enjoyed them, while also paying homage to restored and classic skiing opportunities still available in the region.

The Brown Bag Lunch Lecture Series is a monthly, hour-long program presented in partnership by the Saratoga Springs Heritage Area Visitor Center and the Saratoga Springs Public Library. This event is conducted in the Dutcher Community Room located on the main floor of the library.

This free program is open to the public and begins promptly at noon. Tea and coffee are provided. For more information, please contact the Visitor Center at 518-587-3241.

 

Brown Bag Lunch Lecture

Photo courtesy of the Saratoga Springs History Museum.

Photo courtesy of the Saratoga Springs History Museum.

In the late 1800’s, every town had its own time zoned based on sundials and train schedules were chaotic. So how did standardization eventually come about? Join Charlie Keunzel and Dave Patterson as they talk about the timely intervention of Charles Dowd and the sundial that honors him.

The Brown Bag Lunch lecture Series is a monthly, hour-long program presented in partnership with the Saratoga Springs Heritage Area Visitor Center and the Saratoga Springs Public Library. This event is conducted in the Dutcher Community Room located on the main floor of the library.

This free program is open to the public and begins promptly at noon. Tea and coffee are provided. For more information, please contact the Saratoga Springs Heritage Area Visitor Center at 518-587-3241.

Supernatural Saratoga Springs Story Sampler

ghostly pic yaddo 1(1)

Photo courtesy of the Corporation of Yaddo

Bewitched, bothered and bewildered by bumps in the night? And daytime, too? Join Charlie Kuenzel and special guests, including representatives from the History Museum, the Preservation foundation and Yaddo Gardens, as they share their own tales of ghosts and apparitions in spook-tacular Saratoga Springs. Information on local ghost tours will be available. Books by David Pitkin, noted expert on ghost stories, will also be for sale.

The Brown Bag Lunch Lecture Series is a monthly, hour-long program. It is presented in partnership by the Saratoga Springs Heritage Area Visitor Center and the Saratoga Springs Public Library. This event is conducted in the Dutcher Community Room located on the main floor of the library. This free program  is open to the public. It begins promptly at noon. Tea and coffee are provided. For more information, please contact the Visitor Center at 518-587-3241.

Since 1887: Saratoga’s Police Department

1887 Saratoga Police Force

The first chief of police, George W. Blodgett, (center, with straw hat and light colored pants) with his police force.

By 1887, Saratoga Springs had grown to a point where a police department was needed to ensure law and order.  An act of the State Legislature created the Saratoga Springs police department on April 26th of that year, and on June 1st, eight men marked their first official work day in the new department. Come hear Saratoga Springs’ Police Chief Greg Veitch talk about this unique part of our city’s history.

The Brown Bag Lunch Lecture Series is a monthly, hour-long program presented in partnership by the Saratoga Springs Heritage Area visitor Center and the Saratoga Springs Public Library. This event is conducted in Dutcher Community Room located on the main floor of the library. This program is free and open to the public and begins promptly at noon. Tea and coffee are provided.

Congress Park Concerts!~Fun for All!

Johana “Joey” Anderson delights the crowd at the opening concert of the August series.

Concerts in Congress Park…a Saratoga tradition dating back to the Gilded Age!  Every Tuesday evening in August heralds in Dark Days Starry Nights,  a concert series  featuring talent from our region.  Bring a blanket, pack a picnic and head to Congress Park to revel in the sounds of summer. This is fun for the entire family!

We kicked off the August series with the Classics with Wayne and Joey, a feel-good celebration of golden oldies and dancing in the park.  No one wanted the fun to end when the couple closed with their signature torch song “When Something is Wrong with My Baby.”  It was a night to remember.

The next concert on August 12th will feature Party of Three, the light-hearted contemporary sounds and compositions of Vince Arpey and Kelly Hurley.  And August 19th will welcome back  R&B funk band Jacamo bringing down the house with music for the rhythmically challenged — you won’t be able to miss the beat.  Well-loved Betsy and the Byegons will end the Dark Days Starry Nights concert series on August 26th.

Concerts are held on the great lawn of Congress Park opposite the War Memorial from 7:00-8:30 PM – weather permitting.  In the case of inclement weather forecasts, please call the Visitor Center after 5:00 PM at (518) 587-3241 on the evening of the concert to make sure that the show will go on!

 

 

 

Free Concert Series in Congress Park

Jazz in July every Sunday evening in July from 7:00-8:30 at the War Memorial!  Relax with the cool sounds of jazz on a summer’s night!

The Terry Gordon Quintet will perform standard jazz repertoire and original compositions on July 20th and C.C. Vagabonds brings the sound of Django Reinhardt-style traditional music on July 27th.