EAST BOSTON, MA - Suffolk Downs will be celebrating individuals and organizations in the city of Salem that make a positive difference in their community on “Salem Day,” Saturday, July 11. It is the third of eight days on which the track will recognize individual cities and towns as part of its 2009 “Commitment to Community” program.

Parking and admission will be free for Salem residents (with proper ID). In addition to a full card of live racing, the track will provide free family entertainment, including pony rides, carnival games, face painting and a balloon artist, at the outdoor tent and playground area. All in attendance will have the opportunity to have their picture taken with a racehorse and jockey at the track’s “Fan Photo Experience.” The family fun begins at 12:30 p.m. First post time for live racing is 12:45 p.m.

The following Salem organizations will be recognized in the track’s “Community Winner’s Circle”: Boys & Girls Club of Greater Salem, Foundation for Salem Public Education, Parents United of Salem, St. Joseph’s Food Pantry and Salem YMCA.

The “Community Winner’s Circle” was established last year by Suffolk Downs in a continuation of the track’s long-standing community outreach program. Each “Community Winner’s Circle” honoree is recognized by the track in a post-race winner’s circle ceremony and with a contribution to their cause.

"It is both exciting and an honor to have the City of Salem and these great organizations recognized by Suffolk Downs' Commitment to Community program,” said Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll. “Every one of these organizations provides vital services and programs to Salem's diverse community. This recognition is truly a testament to the hard work and dedication of the staff and countless volunteers of these groups. I would like to thank not only the organizations being recognized, but Suffolk Downs for acknowledging the work they do."

Alex Grover, a lifelong resident of Salem, will be performing the national anthem. Grover is a 2009 graduate of Wheaton College in Norton, MA, where he majored in music. The 2005 Salem High School graduate will be pursuing a masters in music education at Boston University in the fall. The Salem Veterans Council honor guard will present the colors for the anthem.

The remaining schedule of “Commitment to Community” days at Suffolk Downs is as follows: Lynn (July 18), Winthrop (July 25), Revere (August 1), Saugus (August 8) and East Boston (August 22).