Recipes from Hawthorne Race Course's Oktoberfest celebration.
The legendary Oktoberfest originated as a horse race honoring the marriage of the Prince and Princess in Munich, Germany in 1810. While the races have long since been replaced by beer carts and a carnival-like atmosphere in Munich, Hawthorne, is commemorating its own 100th anniversary of family ownership and operation, promising to provide a full version of the original celebration featuring live music, an outdoor barbecue and beer fest, endless sauerkraut and sausage, and no shortage of live racing. Oktoberfest will begin at noon on October 17 and 18, followed by a 1:20 post time with live racing and celebrations ending at approximately 6:00 p.m
Hawthorne Race Course, 3501 S. Laramie, Cicero, www.hawthorneracecourse.com the live racing horse track home to the Annual Illinois Derby, has long been a forerunner of the regional racing business and continues to deliver thrills in its 100th year of family ownership. Under the proprietorship of the Carey family, the anniversary distinguishes Hawthorne as the oldest continuously family-owned and operated race track in the nation. Over the last century, Hawthorne has hosted over 100,000 races and employed 250,000 people. One million miles of track have been run by at least 1,000 jockeys and 100,000 horses and over $1 billion worth of winnings have been happily collected at the longest running sports venue in Illinois.
With 2009 being called "The Year of Hawthorne" in a proclamation by the Illinois Racing Board, 4th generation president and general manager of Hawthorne, Tim Carey is proud to be a part of such a significant milestone in his family's business. "It has been a true honor to continue my family's legacy and I'm pleased that the tradition my great-grandparents began at the turn of the century continues to thrive today," said Carey. "It has been home to many of my own family's memories and we want the community to share in that experience; to come together and celebrate the success and thank those who have helped get us to this triumphant point in Hawthorne's history."
Hawthorne Race Course will offer a unique opportunity for race fans with Twilight Racing on October 16. Post time will be 5:30 pm for the twilight races, which have never been done before in Chicago. New and seasoned race fans are invited to get lucky under the lights. "Twilight racing is a terrific introduction to the excitement of live racing," Carey says. "Because thoroughbreds traditionally run during the day it's hard for new fans to often make it to the track. Racing on Friday night is going to be an incredible opportunity to witness the truly fast-paced, in-your-face action of horseracing."
"Biggest Family Reunion" on the track's apron. From noon until 6 p.m. and a post at 1:25 p.m., the track will host events including a father/son and mother/daughter potato sack race with participation by the Carey family. The event will also feature hayrides, music, a pumpkin carving contest, games, face painting, and a Moon Jump. The live entertainment of horse racing will serve as an exciting backdrop and families will have the opportunity to meet, greet and get autographs from the Hawthorne's star jockeys.
For more information visit www.hawthorneracecourse.com or call 708-780-3700.
OKTOBERFEST AT HAWTHORNE
Noon to 6 pm
Saturday and Sunday (Oct. 17 and 18)
3501 S. Laramie, Cicero
Fall Racing Season
The 2009 fall meet at Hawthorne Race Course runs through December 31.Daily racing occurs Wednesday through Sunday with first post at 1:20 p.m. with the exception of Fridays at 2:30 p.m. through the week prior to Thanksgiving. First posts on Fridays after the holiday are at 1:20 p.m. Returning for another action packed season are top jockeys Inez Karlsson, Chris Emigh, Tim Thornton and Randall Meier riding for equally premier trainers Frank Kirby, Jamie Ness, Mike Reavis, Brian Williamson and Chris Richard.
Hawthorne's dirt racing surface has proven to be one of the safest surfaces in regards to injury to horses and humans in Illinois. Hawthorne's homestretch is the second longest in North America behind the Fair Grounds in New Orleans. While the autumn meet at Hawthorne has the largest field size in the state of Illinois featuring a full backstretch of horses and turf racing well into November, one of the season's highlights is that the track is also the premier place to watch the Breeders' Cup on November 6 and 7 as the entire facility will be open to the public. Top players will be able to enjoy the comforts of the newly constructed Platinum Club which offers a Vegas-Style race book setting and a 100 year old bar imported from Washington. Hawthorne has invested multiple millions in dollars in the past five years in a facility overhaul which has included a new floor surface on the first floor of the grandstand, 1,000 new LG televisions and a centrally located sports bar on the first floor of the grandstand.
Hawthorne Race Course will celebrate the season with a series of ongoing special events including $1 TGI Fridays featuring $1 hot dogs and beers, Senior Day Thursdays, and Bags Tournaments coupled with NFL Ticket Sundays in November.
Hawthorne's historic halls are filled with classic photos and relics of racing seasons past dating back to when Thomas Carey first purchased the estate back in 1909. Hawthorne Race Course has been able to revive horseracing in Chicago time and again due to continuously placing fans in the middle of all the fast-paced action and interactive excitement involved in the sport. After 100 years, Hawthorne Race Course promises to remain Chicago's home to showcasing the very best talent in the historic "sport of kings." For more information on Hawthorne Race Course visit hawthorneracecourse.com or call 708-780-3700.