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Fun, Affordable Family Entertainment Featured Dollar Day, Festive Fireworks, Willie Nelson’s Family Picnic and Vans Warped Tour July 3-6, 2008!

  HOUSTON (July 10, 2008)—Sam Houston Race Park ( was home to a variety of events and large crowds of live racing and live music fans as part of the July 4th holiday weekend which featured a variety of affordable family fun and an array of activities spanning Thursday, July 3 through Sunday, July 6, 2008.

The weekend of events witnessed more than 70,000 guests at The Park, with attendance for the July 4th Extravaganza presented by Verizon Wireless drawing more than 32,000 people. Attendance for the holiday event was event alone up 15% from 2007.

In addition to the fireworks display, The Park hosted a weekend of activities including an evening of live racing with Dollar Day at The Park, and live music with Willie Nelson’s Family Picnic and the Vans Warped Tour.

“We anticipated this year’s holiday events to bring in more guests, as we made an effort to provide a variety of programming with our family-oriented Dollar Day and July 4th event,” stated Andrea Young, Chief Operating Officer, Sam Houston Race Park. “In addition, we had a fantastic weekend of concert events with Willie Nelson’s Family Picnic and the Vans Warped Tour, which are new to our facility. It was a great opportunity to bring new people to The Park for both racing and live music events.”

The holiday kicked off with live racing events on Thursday, July 3 with Dollar Day at The Park, where everything from parking, admission and racing programs to food and drinks was available to guests for just $1 each. This first-time event welcomed almost 4,000 people out to racing events and proved to be a large family day at the races.

The annual July 4th Extravaganza at The Park presented by Verizon Wireless, is one of the most anticipated racing and entertainment events of the year at The Park. More than 32,000 guests came out to witness live Quarter Horse racing and one of the biggest fireworks displays in town.

The sold-out evening featured a 10 race card with the $20,000 Silestone Stakes race as the night’s featured event. The 350-yard race for Texas-bred fillies and mares three years of age and up was claimed by jockey Rodrigo Sigala Vallejo and horse Panther Purr with a final time of :17.99.

Guests dined in style on the Texas-themed Grande Buffet feast from The Park’s new Executive Chef Hugo Gomez, while a series of between race promotions got the excited crowd on their feet and vying for a variety of prizes and giveaway items throughout the night.

The Showgrounds outdoor concert venue, located in the infield area of the track, had live entertainment on the Sugar Hill Emerging Artist Stage from Three Fantastic, Southern Backtones and Arthur Yoria, while kids of all ages were able to spend the evening playing games and jumping in the inflatable bounce house. Sports Clips offered free haircuts to guests, with donations for services made to Texas Children’s Hospital.

This night finished in style with The Park’s notable fireworks display and traditional patriotic music provided by KHPT 106.9 The Point. The display, which lasted 20 minutes, lit up the sky and proved to be one of the most impressive shows in years.

The party continued on Saturday, July 5, as The Showgrounds ( hosted Willie Nelson’s Family Picnic ( The day-long festival, in its 36th year of operation, included performances from top country music acts such as Ray Price, Asleep At The Wheel, David Allen Coe, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Billy Joe Shaver and Los Lonely Boys along with country music icon Willie Nelson. More than 13,000 spent the day singing and dancing along to some of the most notable country music hits. The day-long festival was one of the most successful concert events to date for The Park.

“Our partnership with Live Nation for The Showgrounds has not only boosted our profile as one of the best places in Houston to experience live music, it has allowed more people to experience our property and brought us top-of-the-line concert events such as Willie Nelson’s Family Picnic and the Vans Warped Tour,” said Young. “We look forward to being able to program additional diverse events and attracting new people to our venue.”

In addition to the concert event on Saturday, The Park had a successful day for simulcast action with the Grade 1 United Nations Stakes from Monmouth Park, which Presious Passion won at 13-1; and the Grade 1 American Oaks from Hollywood Park, where Pure Clan claimed the win.

The weekend of activities closed out with the Vans Warped Tour ( taking place in the West Lot of The Park on Sunday, July 6. The Park had more than 16,000 people in attendance on Sunday. The tour showcased 8 stages, interactive gaming stations, extreme sports demos and music from more than 50 bands including Angels & Airwaves, Paramore, Gym Class Heroes, The Academy Is…, Story of the Year, Bedouin Soundclash, Reliant K, Every Time I Die, From First to Last, Maylene and the Sons of Disaster, the Street Dogs and Against Me.

Live Quarter Horse racing continues every Thursday, Friday and Saturday in July along with the Verizon Wireless post-race concert series on the Bud Light stage every Friday and Saturday through the summer.

Upcoming live racing events include the $100,000 + Bank of America Texas Challenge Championship (G1) on Saturday, July 12; the Texas Summer Showdown event on July 25 & 26; the TQHA Sale Futurity (RG1) and TQHA Yearling Sale on Saturday, July 26. For more information, visit or call 281-807-8760.

Sam Houston Race Park is Houston’s premier racing and entertainment facility, located 15 minutes from downtown Houston, and offers a variety of attractions including 19 luxury suites overlooking the race track, The Pavilion Centre, and award-winning dining options at the Winner’s Circle Restaurant and Jockey Club. The Park’s newest addition, The Showgrounds, is an all-ages venue that hosts annual Country, Classic Rock and Contemporary concert events throughout the year. For more information on upcoming shows, events and tickets, please visit, or call 800-211-3381.


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