OCEANPORT: Monmouth Park is hosting two events this weekend; the Italian Festival and Kortney's Challenge.
The annual Italian Festival returns to the Oceanport racetrack this Saturday, Aug. 5, and brings with it a bevy of music, games and food.
Two bocce courts will be set up and delicious food from Enzo's Pizza, Mama Dude's, The Little Sicilian Rice Balls, Mannino's Cannoli Express, Gigantino's Meatballs and others will be on hand. An Italian wine tasting is an addition to the festival this year. Participants can purchase a commemorative wine tasting glass and receive five 2-ounce samples for $10.
Live music will be playing "On the Green" all day long with The Metropolitan Festival Band.
Saturday's 11-race, live Thoroughbred racing card will be headlined by the $60,000 Colleen Stakes for 2-year-olds on the turf.
Gates open at 11:30 a.m. with first post scheduled for 12:50 p.m.
On Sunday, Aug. 6, Monmouth Park will once again host Kortney's Challenge, a two-mile fun run/walk.
Proceeds from the event will go to the Kortney Rose Foundation which is devoted to raising money to support research related to the treatment and cure of pediatric brain tumors.
The race will begin at 10 a.m. at the track's entrance and will end two miles later in the Grandstand. Runners will also receive free Grandstand parking and admission to the park with registration to Kortney's Challenge. Participants can register on race day in person starting at 8:30 a.m., or online at www.thekortneyrosefoundation.org.
Nonparticipants can also receive free admission by participating in Food Bank Day by donating a canned food or a non-perishable item. All food donations will go to the Monmouth/Ocean County Food Bank.
Gates will open at 11:30 a.m. Sunday, with the first race set for 12:50 p.m.