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.



The Saratoga Trunk Tour – a Saratoga love story!  Based on the novel by Edna Ferber

Follow your guide Kathy Totten as she takes you on a walking journey through Saratoga Springs circa 1885 and unfolds the romantic tale of Clio & Clint (played by Ingrid Bergman & Gary Cooper in the 1945 film version).  Tours begin at the Visitor Center (corner of Broadway & Congress St.) and are approximately an hour in length.

This tour is being offered Saturday, June 28th at 11a.m. and Thursday, August 14th at 11a.m.  Reservations are accepted however not required.  Call (518)587-3241 ext 15 for reservations .  Admission is $5 per person and children 12 and under are free.

June 12 Brown Bag Lunch Lecture

The backbone of the racing industry is the community of workers who work within the backstretch of thoroughbred racetracks: its trainers, assistant trainers, grooms, hot walkers, and exercise riders. Ellen McHale, Executive director of the New York Folklore society, will share some of the “stories” of this community which is present during the racing season at Saratoga Springs. Based upon field research, she will talk about the unique occupational world found within thoroughbred racing.

Photo courtesy of Ellen McHale

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 program is free and open to the public and begins promptly at noon. Tea and coffee are provided.

Down in the Valley: Exploring the Gut

Saratoga Springs was made up of many ethnic districts. One of the most interesting is known as “The Gut” or “The Valley”, an area east of Broadway. This was home to many multi-ethnic working-class family businesses and was also important in the evolution of the Jewish community for many years. Learn about this unique neighborhood through the stories about the people who lived and worked there for more than two centuries. This delightful armchair tour is presented by local tour  guide, Ellen Steinberger on May 8, 2014.

This event takes place at noon in the Dutcher Community room of the Saratoga Springs Public Library. Coffee and tea are provided. The Brown Bag Lunch Lecture Series is made possible by a partnership of the Saratoga Springs Heritage Area Visitor Center and the Saratoga Springs Public Library.


Patterson Spring photo courtesy of the Saratoga Springs History Museum

Walking Tours slated to begin July 7th

The Saratoga Springs Visitor Center will kickoff their walking tour season Monday, July 7th through Labor Day with a tour of Congress Park entitled “History, Legends, Lore & More”. Tours begin daily at 10:30a.m. rain or shine departing from the Visitor Center.
Tickets are $5 for adults and children under 12 are free. The Visitor Center located at 297 Broadway, directly across from Congress Park. Please call 587-3241 for questions about our tours or if you are interested in becoming a volunteer Tour Guide or email .



March 13th Brown Bag Lunch Lecture

Join librarian Dan Hubs and Irish fiddler Frank Orsini for a biographical survey of the life of John Morrissey. Born in poverty in Ireland, Morrissey transcended his humble beginnings to become a champion boxer, congressman and partial owner of the Saratoga Race Course. In honor of St. Patrick’s day, traditional Irish music will accompany the presentation.

Photo courtesy of the Saratoga Springs History Museum

Bring in the New Year with us!

Holiday Community Outreach

Calling all mittens! The Saratoga Springs Heritage Area Visitor Center is sponsoring its annual “Happy Hands Mitten Tree” program, through December 31st. Donations can be placed on the Happy Hands Mitten Tree in the Visitor Center at 297 Broadway Monday-Saturday from 9:00-5:00 and until 11:00 PM during First Night Saratoga.

Those in need of warm gear are invited to come into the Visitor Center during the holiday season through the month of December.

Any warm gear is greatly appreciated – scarves, gloves, hats, muffs- anything to keep away the chill of winter! Individuals, organizations and youth groups are invited to contribute mittens or gloves to the tree. Items can be purchased or handmade, and all sizes, colors and styles are welcome!

Those in need of warm gear are invited to come into the Visitor Center during the holiday season through the month of December. All remaining items will be donated to local charities for distribution throughout the winter months.

For people who are looking for a way to share during the holiday season, adding a pair of mittens to the “Happy Hands Tree” is a small way to make a big impact in someone’s life! Thank you…warm wishes for a Happy Holiday!

Tour Guide Volunteers Needed!

The Visitors Center is currently seeking Tour Guides for our exciting 2013 season which begins the second week of July through Labor Day.  Our “History, Legends, Lore & More” tour of Congress Park encompasses the park’s history, springs, statuary, fountains, landscaping & restored carousel.  It is a fun way to meet tourists from all over the world and make new friends.

We are seeking volunteers who can guide our daily tours at 10:30am for 90 minutes.  We will be offering a training session on Monday, June 17th  for those interested in becoming Guides.  For more information contact the Visitor’s Center at (518)587-3241 or email:

March 14th: Sanford Stud Farm

The Sanford Stud Farm was originally known as Hurricana Stock Farm.  Postcard image provided by the Saratoga Springs Public Library’s Saratoga Room.

Join us for the first of our 2013 Spring Brown Bag Lunch Series with guest lecturer, Sam Hildebrandt, Jr. His talk will center on Sanford Stud Farm, originally known as Hurricana Stock Farm in Amsterdam, NY, and its metamorphosis from a “diversion” for Stephen Sanford, international carpet magnate, to take his mind away from the stress associated with one of the largest carpet manufacturing facilities in the United States.

That “diversion” grew from a small 60-acre farm to an 1,100-acre facility that would ultimately become one of the major contributors in the early days of thoroughbred horse racing, not only at Saratoga, but throughout the United States.  We will look at the farm from its inception in the 1880’s to its ultimate demise in the 1970’s and the project to restore what little is left of the facility and its nomination to the national Register of Historic Sites.

Lou “Sam” Hildebrandt, Jr. is the son of one of the more successful Sanford Stud Farm contract riders (1930’s-40’s), a retired school teacher, author and public speaker. While born in Amsterdam, NY, he now resides in Glens Falls, NY and is the past president of the friends of Sanford Stud Farm and one of its founders.

This monthly, hour-long program is presented in partnership with the Saratoga Springs Public Library. It takes place in the Dutcher Community room located on the main floor of the Library. This event is free, open to the public, and  begins promptly at noon.