The Racing Journal Logo

An Arizona tradition—Thanksgiving weekend at Turf Paradise: Gents Day, Family Fun Day, Dollar Day


November 21, 2012     E-mail this page to a friend!

What better way to spend the three days after Thanksgiving than to get off the sofa, put down the remote, get out of the house, and get to Turf Paradise?

Spending Thanksgiving Day at Turf Paradise became a tradition shortly after it opened in 1956. What started as a novel idea for men to avoid shopping with their spouses has evolved into an institution, and who are we to fight tradition? This year, Turf Paradise takes it up a notch.

In addition to exciting and compelling horse racing and wagering, each day is an event:

Friday, November 23


Friday is Gents Day. Grandstand admission is free for men. While wives and girlfriends spend the day hauling shopping bags full of loofah sponges and aroma-therapy candles, the guys can haul themselves to Turf Paradise for a day of horse racing. We'll also have two dollar beer. The gift shop will be open with a full array of gifts, t-shirts, mugs, and calendars; but no Loofah sponges or aroma-therapy candles.

Saturday, November 24


On Saturday the guys can make up for shirking their shopping duties and take the whole family—including out-of-town guests—to Turf for Family Fun Day. Grandstand admission is $2, and kids 12 and under get in for free. The first 3,000 paid admissions get free Whirley Cups. Soda refills with the cup are just $2. There's also live music and a family fun park with bounce house inflatables , pony rides, and face painting. The day also features the Arizona Breeders' Futurities along with the Cactus Wren and Cactus Flower Stakes.

Sunday, November 25


In case you slept through Friday and Saturday and you find yourself looking for some fun on a budget, we've got you covered with Dollar Day. Grandstand admission is $1. So are popcorn, sodas, hot dogs, ice cream, and programs.

“Whether you're looking to spend the day watching and wagering on exciting live horse racing, or looking for a way to keep the whole family entertained on a budget, we have you covered,” said Turf Paradise General Manager Vince Francia. “We may not have typical Thanksgiving traditions in Arizona like watching the leaves turn colors and hayrides in the snow, but Arizona does have Turf Paradise as a source of entertainment and excitement for more than five decades.”