Horses enter the track at sunrise for their morning workout...

Horses enter the track at sunrise for their morning workout at the Belmont Race Track in Elmont. (June 1, 2012) Credit: Ed Betz

The Garden City community will celebrate the upcoming 144th running of the Belmont Stakes with the Garden City Belmont Festival on Friday.

The festival will take place on Seventh Street from 6 to 10 p.m. and will feature dance groups, live music, family-friendly activities and a chicken wing cooking competition.

The evening festival will also include a poster contest, face painters, pony rides, carnival booths with prizes, and a wide variety of food offerings.

The Wing Off will take place from 6:30 to 9 p.m. during which local restaurants will compete to be named Garden City’s chicken wing champion.

The public will judge the contest for a minimum donation of $5, which includes a plate of wings and a ballot. The winner will be announced at 9:30 p.m.

The festival is sponsored by The New York Racing Association, Inc. and The Garden City Hotel. All proceeds benefit Nassau County Firefighter’s Operation Wounded Warrior project, which provides needed items for injured United States military personnel.

For more information or to participate in the festival, contact Mary Dolan Grippo at 516-571-1936 or email

DON'T MISS THIS LIMITED-TIME OFFER1 5 months for only $1Save on Unlimited Digital Access