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Final day of racing set for Saturday
The final pieces are falling into place as Osoyoos gets ready for its second, and final, day of horse racing at the Desert Park racetrack facility on Saturday.
There will be five races with post time for the first at 1:30 p.m., said Carol Youngberg, president of the Desert Park Exhibition Society, which organizes the races. The starting time is earlier than previously advertised, Youngberg said.
For this race day organizers will be better prepared for large crowds than they were on June 15. There will be more racing programs, more food and more vendors, Youngberg said.
In addition to more workers being hired to handle betting, there will also be nearly 20 betting machines this time, as well as trainers to help people use them.
Although there are more volunteers this time, Youngberg said more are still needed. Volunteers will be needed in particular to help direct people parking their cars, and also trainers familiar with the betting machines are needed to help people place bets.
Tom Shields, a former Osoyoos mayor and broadcaster, will again be calling the races.
This time however, the sound system will be improved with more speakers so he can be better heard throughout the stands and paddocks.
The event is being branded as the Wine Derby and several local wineries will be pouring tastes of their products for race goers.
Racing fans are being encouraged to dress up for the event with fancy hats or fascinators for the women and bowler hats for the men.
Youngberg said that Valanné Style on Main Street is selling hats and fascinators in the days leading up to the races.
Final preparations are taking place at the track, Youngberg said, adding that finalizing of sponsors and volunteers is continuing to be done this week.
As the racing spirit again grips the town, Youngberg said some racing fans are organizing prerace parties where fans can dress up and also receive the program in advance.