Ostriches, Camels and PEOPLE oh my!

by Charlie London

The Fair Grounds filled to capacity as over 10,000 people showed up to watch the racing spectacle!

My family were all able to attend but by the time I showed up at 7:25 p.m. the Fair Grounds was full to capacity! This definitely caught the Fair Grounds by surprise. Normally, steady rain would project a light crowd. The guard at the gate said by 5 pm they knew it was going to be a big day because thousands showed up early to get a good seat for the unique event. Folks reported long lines for the concession stands. Automobile parking in the surrounding neighborhoods quickly disappeared.

The Fair Grounds is to be commended for limiting the crowd due to safety concerns.

David Armond grabbed this photo of the ostrich race with his cell phone.
Many thanks to David for sharing this photo!


By Jim Mulvihill, Communications & Pari-Mutuel Marketing Manager

Ostriches, camels and horses, oh my! For one night only on August 18, Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots will present live racing with camels and ostriches along with live Zydeco music, a mascot race and a full program of American Quarter Horse races.

The family-friendly evening starts at 4 p.m. and features 11 Quarter Horse races, one camel race, one ostrich race and the chaotic local mascot race.

General admission is $10. Children 12 and under are free. There are no advance tickets for general admission, which must be paid at the door. General admission includes entry for live Zydeco music on the first floor of the air-conditioned Grandstand.

The Struthio Stakes for ostriches of all ages, named to honor the participants by their genus,is set for 7:10 p.m., and post time for the Dromedary Dash, named for the one-humped species of camel, is 8:40 p.m.

Fair Grounds jockeys will ride the ostriches and a roster of celebrities (to be announced) will pilot the camels. Both exotic animal races are non-wagering events.

The local mascot race, hosted by Fair Grounds’ own Gentilly Billy, will include fuzzy friends like Hugo (New Orleans Hornets), Boudreaux (New Orleans Zephyrs), Bones (New Orleans Voodoo), Monty the Lion (Hotel Monteleone), Havoc (Loyola University) and Gold Digga (Xavier University of Louisiana). Post time for the mascot race is 7:55 p.m.

The 11 Quarter Horse races will be run from 4 p.m. to 9:55 p.m., highlighted by the featured $40,000 Audubon Stakes for Louisiana-bred fillies and mares at 350 yards.

Tails & Ales Presented by Abita Beer in the Clubhouse

Also that evening, the inaugural Tails & Ales Presented by Abita Beer, a tasting featuring a variety of craft and specialty beers from around the world, will be held on the fourth and fifth floors of the Clubhouse. An exclusive VIP premium tasting with exclusive craft beers not available in the general tasting area, plus hors d’oeuvres by WOW Café & Wingery, PJ’s and City Diner, will be on the fifth floor.

Tails & Ales Presented by Abita Beer is a production of Blue Deuce Entertainment, organizers of the popular New Orleans International Beer Festival at Champions Square.

Admission for “Tails & Ales,” which includes live racing admission, is $30 in advance through Ticketmaster.com or $35 at the door. The VIP experience – which includes an exclusive “VIP Hour” with entrance before the general public from 4-5 p.m. – is $60. Discounted “Designated Driver” admission is available for $15 (General Admission) or $25 (VIP). “Tails & Ales” tickets are limited so fans are encouraged to purchase online in advance.

Private suites are available for groups by calling Fair Grounds Group Sales at (504) 948-1285.

photo and article courtesy Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots