Family day in AugustRideau Carleton: Excitement on hooves!
Since its inception in 1962, the Rideau Carleton Raceway—now known as the Rideau Carleton Entertainment Centre—has been providing fun and excitement for residents of the entire National Capital Region and beyond. For Aylmerites who miss the Hippodrome, Rideau-Carleton is the only local place where you can still experience live harness racing.
Although watching the horses and riders battling it out is thrilling, there is much more to do at theRaceway, particularly on the upcoming Family Day on August 21. “We’re going to have plenty of surprises for little ones, including face painting, hay rides, and pony rides,” says Marketing Manager Audrée Vachon. “The pony rides will give children a safe way to experience riding a horse.”
The day will feature a racing double-header, with racing beginning at 1 p.m. The races last approximately two minutes, followed by fifteen minutes of waiting time between each race, when there will be plenty of activities, including a horse decoration contest. “The grooms will decorate their horses and the spectators will vote for the winner. We’ll also have give-aways, contests and gifts, including caps and t-shirts,” says Ms. Vachon. Older children may be interested in going to the Capital Fair, one of the area’s largest, which is located on the premises.
For more adult entertainment, a betting counter will be available on the tarmac. “People will be able to see the finish line up close. We’ll also have someone there who explains how to read the racing program. We’re going to make sure they’re not in the dark.” As for food, a jumbo hot dog with Pepsi will cost just $2.99.
As the afternoon winds down, the raceway’s signature buffet opens at 5 p.m. “We have a brand-new dining room, with a new grilling station. The impressive dessert selection is made fresh and in-house,” adds Ms. Vachon. Wagering stations are located nearby; children are welcome everywhere except for the casino.
The dining room’s large windows offer a panoramic view of the track and television sets for a more up-close view of the racing action. “We’re also launching an ‘inside look into the paddock,’ with live interviews of the drivers after the race,” she says. “It’s just like the news interviews of hockey players after a game. For the first time, we’ll have cameras in the paddock. It will give people a better insight into harness racing and what happens during a race.”
Prestigious Ontario Sire Stakes in the evening
At 6:30, racing begins again. “The Ontario Sire Stakes are meant to encourage breeding in the province, so these are the best horses racing for biggest purses, even up to $70,000. These races aretaken very seriously, involving all the best horses from Ontario. It’s going to be great racing.”
The Rideau Carleton Entertainment Centre’s Family Day truly is “all about entertainment. We’re going to make sure people have fun and have the opportunity to discover racing.”
Though the dining room features 600 seats, it’s best to book reservations for the highly popular brunch and evening buffet. To reserve, call 613-822-2211. On Family Day, August 21, Rideau-Carleton Entertainment Centre is everyone’s “place to play.” The centre is located at 4837 Albion Road in Ottawa.