Derby fest at Tioga Downs

By Erika Mahoney

May 3, 2014 Updated May 4, 2014 at 12:01 AM EST

Nichols, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Even though the Kentucky Derby was a few states away, there were plenty of mint juleps and big hats to go around right here in the Southern Tier.

Tioga Downs held their 7th annual Derby Fest to kick off their 9th season of live harness racing.

"It's a big party for us," Justin Horowitz, Tioga Down's Regional Racing Marketing Manager, said. "We have anywhere from 9 to 13 horse races, and they generally have 9 horses in each race. The people that race horses here come from all over the country. We have about 300 horses that are actually stabled here at Tioga Downs stables."

People who attended the event dressed in big hats and could enjoy live music and refreshments.

"The weather is beautiful, we have a lot of entertainment going on," Linn Redder, Tioga Down's Vice President of Marketing, said.

A fireworks show ended the day's festivities and one lucky winner left with a prize of $500 in the annual "Derby Hat Contest."

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