Meet me under the Big Top!
Story by Sandra Smith and Photography by Steve Manning, Tom Smith, and Paul Kipphut.
The 2011 All Firebird Lawn Show at Albany-Saratoga Speedway saw 135 cars from as far away as Michigan, Ohio, Virginia, Maryland, PA, RI, CT, MA, NJ, NY, VT, NH, and Quebec, Canada. Nearly all participants said it was the best All Firebird Lawn Show ever and loved the new venue with the 40’ by 80’ Big Top tent and Speedway Concessions serving 100 percent certified Angus 1/4 pound burgers with lettuce, tomato, onion, and dressings plus home made salads, cold beverages and ice cream.
A very big thanks to NFTAC / FNONA member Tom Smith who organized and coordinated the show.
Many thanks go out to all the FNONA club members and volunteers that helped to make the show a success including Trailer Queens Sandy Smith, Arlene Delaney, Margo Bagneschi, Lisa Lord, and Shelly Reed.
Thanks also go out to our great parking staff including Joel Auger, David Lord, Ron Delaney, Ron Pratt, Gerry Garing, and Ray Eggert.
We thank Brian McDonald from Special Olympics Capital District Region for controlling the entrance gate and directing the spectators. Brian is a newcomer but did a great job.
We appreciate Master of Ceremonies Alan Edstrom from Saratoga Polo Association. Alan helped so much with announcements throughout the day and at the awards ceremony with his amusing sense of humor.
It is impossible to have a judged show without credible and knowledgeable judges. Our 2011 judging staff included FNONA members Head Judge Joe Carey (NY), Rick Holloway (CT), Jim Napoletano (CT), Steve Reed (NJ), Michael Thomas (NY), Neil Silberkleit (CT), and Keith Fuerst (NY). Our 2011 guest judges included Brian Carter (NY), Ray DeCrescenzo (NY), Michael Tyler (OH), and Russ Stemple (OH). We truly thank these guys for volunteering to help judge the field with a knowledge and dedication second to none.
I was very proud to see some of my Special Olympics athletes on the field during the show including my son Brian Smith, athlete representatives Jennifer Delaney, Doug Halter, Jim Cunningham, Scott Kennedy, Todd Byron, and Ryan Banker, plus many more escorted by their parents, staff, and coaches.
Sponsors help pay the bills and I cannot thank our sponsors enough. 2011 sponsors included host venue Albany-Saratoga Speedway, Northwind Graphics of Malta NY, Ralph Mangino Jr. and Mangino Buick-Chevrolet www.mangino.com, Fbodywareouse.com, Ames Performance Engineering, Fairfield Inn & Suites of Malta NY, Hagerty Insurance of Traverse City, MI, WantAd Digest, RockAuto.com of Madison, WI, National Firebird and Trans Am Club, DePaula Chevrolet, Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce, Midway Family Dental Associates, Zacks Sports, Mothers Polish, Summit Racing, Gold Eagle Products, Dr. Kelly Herbs, Painting by Ken and DeLacey Massage Therapy both of Schenectady NY.
Vendors Jim and Julie Valentino of www.Photowheels.com, Dan and Denise Swint of D and D Collectables and What Nots, and last but not least, Albany-Saratoga Speedway food and beverage concessions.
Thanks goes out to the Digital Photographers who helped capture the Cruise and Show including FNONA member Tom Smith who photographed all of the first place winning cars, Steve Manning who captured the Friday night Cruise to the Speedway, the fun on the track, and the Saturday show, and Paul and Christine Kipphut of www.memorevents.com/ the official Albany-Saratoga Speedway photographers who also photographed the Firebirds on the Track action Friday night.
Last but certainly not least, thanks to DJ Andy Narzynski who played excellent music with top notch equipment and a vibrant personality.
50-50 raffle winner: Ray Eggert from East Greenbush, NY. Total raffle pool: $1001.00. Winner portion: $500.50. Special Olympics portion $500.50. Winner Ray Eggert gave back $250 to Special Olympics.
The 10th Anniversary All Firebird Lawn Show will be held on Saturday July 7, 2012 (Rain Date of Sunday July 8) from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. on the grounds of the Albany-Saratoga Speedway, 2671 US Route 9, Malta, NY, 12020, www.albany-saratogaspeedway.com , phone: 518-587-0220. Free truck and trailer parking is available at the venue in the general parking area and free camping is also available on the venue grounds.
Thursday night before the show will feature an informal ‘Meet and Greet’ in the host hotel Fairfield Inn and Suites of Malta, NY parking lot starting around 7:00 p.m.
Friday night before the show will include an All Firebird Cruise with police escort which will assemble at theSaratoga SPA State Park on Friday July 6, 2012 at 5:00 p.m. and leave at 5:30 p.m. The All Firebird Cruise will end at the Albany-Saratoga Speedway venue. The cruise package will include a full card of NASCAR sanctioned Whelen Series racing on the paved oval, large fireworks display, Firebirds on the Oval at racing halftime, and NASCAR Whelen feature races. Pre-registration is strongly recommended since participation may be limited.
Sunday July 8 will feature Firebirds on the NASCAR oval running time trials! In the event that the Sunday Rain date is required, the time trials will immediately follow the show.
The official hotel of the All Firebird Lawn Show continues to be the Fairfield Inn and Suites in Malta, NY. Reservations before June 1 are strongly recommended since the hotel sells out early and the parking lot is like a giant Firebird show.
For more information, contact Sandy or Tom Smith at 518-587-8215, email@example.com, or visit http://clubs.hemmings.com/firebirdnationofnorthamerica.