Triple Crown Excitement Grips Belmont Stakes – Here’s How to Celebrate

California Chrome Triple Crown
Last year’s Triple Crown hopeful California Chrome (pictured above) (Photo credit: Kevin Kane)

The 146th Running of the Belmont Stakes is coming to Belmont Park this Saturday. California Chrome, the winner of the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes, is vying to become the first horse to win the Triple Crown since 1978.

Here are weekend events to celebrate the biggest horse-racing event of the year.

Garden City Belmont Stakes Festival

The 17th annual festival will feature live performances from the Broadway Bound Dance Center and four local musical ensembles: the Fivestone Rock Band, Jerry & the Newcomers, the New Vintage Orchestra and Nor’easter. There will also be food, clowns, face painting and pony rides. The festival includes the Wing-Off Competition for local restaurants contending to create the best wings. The competition benefits the Ace in the Hole Foundation in honor of First Lieutenant Michael LiCalzi, a Garden City native who was killed during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Seventh Street, Garden City gardencityny.net 6-10 p.m. Friday, June 6.

California Chrome Triple Crown
Triple Crown hopeful California Chrome prepares for the Belmont Stakes. (Photo credit: Kevin Kane)

The Belmont Stakes at 21

The Midtown bar and restaurant 21 is hosting a special broadcast of the Belmont Stakes. This horse-racing themed establishment always turns on its televisions for each leg of the Triple Crown. Belmont Jewels and other bar treats will be served. 21 West 52nd Street, New York. 21club.com. $55. 4:30 p.m., June 7.

Exhibit to Celebrate Thoroughbred Horse Racing

The Floral Park Art League will host its annual spring art show to display equestrian-themed artwork, including ink sketches, oil paintings, and watercolors from more than a dozen artists. Each year, the winning piece of the art competition is displayed at the Belmont Park race track. Memorial Park, Floral Park. floralparkartleague.org 3-7 p.m. June 7, 2-6 p.m. June 8.

Floral Park Belmont Stakes Festival

The annual street fair will take place adjacent to the art show with food, clowns, face painting, raffles and street performers. Live music will be provided by DJ Stephen Wickes from One Sound Label and local bands such as RAKE, John Kouris and the Hambones, The RVO Band, Rear View Mirror, Blue Eyed Soul and The Real Deal. The Long Island Bulldog Rescue will also be there to show off some of its pups. Tulip Avenue between Plainfield Avenue and Verbena Avenue, Floral Park. floralparkchamber.org 2-7 p.m. June 8.

California Chrome’s road to the Belmont Stakes: