Emerald Downs celebrates 2022 Opening Day

After years of slowdowns caused by the pandemic, live racing is back at Emerald Downs in Auburn.

The racetrack celebrated opening day on Sunday, kicking off its 52-day live racing season. Back on the table for guests were raffles, betting, and the main event – horse racing.

It was a welcome return for Emerald Downs, which was hit hard by the pandemic.

The racetrack now offers 15 consecutive Friday cards starting June 3, as well as a new horseman incentive program.

"Opening Day’s always a great time, get the fans back, people on track level enjoying the live racing," said racing host Joe Withee. "This is our first year that we’ve been completely wide open since 2019."

Other events include a traditional fireworks show on July 3, and the 87th running of the Longacres Mile later this year.

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"We've got all our major promotions back," said Withee. "The Great Races, the Longacres Mile in August. But we've got really popular days with corgis, bulldogs, T-rexes running down the tracks, so all the great promotions are back!"

Fans can enjoy the 2022 season from now until Sep. 22.