Final Stretch is a damp good time
Downtown summer party scene finishes with strong weekend
SARATOGA SPRINGS Despite damp conditions, the downtown summer party scene is finishing strong.
Broadway was filled Saturday evening with people dining al fresco, inspecting shops, strolling down sidewalks and stopping to listen to performers filling the air with music as part of the Final Stretch Saratoga Music Festival, which continues tonight from 7 to 11.
Joe Affinito, of Queensbury, took in the atmosphere with his wife and two young children after spending the day at the Saratoga Race Course. He was looking at a rack of dresses outside The Shoppe on Broadway with his children as they waited for a table outside across the street, at the Stadium Café. All the dresses were priced 20 percent off, one of a host of deals available at most downtown stores as the racing meet ends Monday and a vast majority of the tourist crowd will be gone until next year.
“We’re here most every weekend,” Affinito said. “We love it. Saratoga is the best.”
One of the most popular performers of the evening was slightly off the beaten path, with Ideal Situation playing to more than 60 people in front of the City Center on Broadway. Frontwoman Jess Marcotte captivated the crowd with a version of “Forget You” that had kids dancing in the street and adults tapping their toes.
There was coordinated dancing in the swamp-like heat at the bottom of Caroline Street for a performance by the El Dorados. Dana Wilhite of Watervliet and Jason Hosier of Rotterdam, who have a background in swing dance, were dancing in the street to the late ’50s and early ’60s music. Their performance prompted people on the sidewalks to film them with their tablets and smartphones.
Hosier said they usually dance in Troy, but came to Saratoga Springs because they like to dance to the El Dorados.
“Our plan is to stay here and dance,” he said. “Once they go on a break, we’ll look for other bands.”
Tonight’s performers include the Chronicles next to the post office on Broadway, Young at Heart in front of the Adirondack Trust on Broadway and Acoustic Trauma in front of Ben & Jerry’s on Phila Street.
Today is also the final giveaway day at the Saratoga Race Course, where people can get a commemorative beer stein with paid admission while supplies last.