Hialeah Park owner John Brunetti Sr. visualized his 200-acre property as a gathering place – not just a place to play slots – and that shows in the scheduling of the casino’s fourth anniversary party.
The celebration runs from Thursday through Sunday, and includes Gente de Zona and Tito Puente Jr.
Lucy Grau is up first, with a free show at 9 p.m. Thursday. Another free show is Friday, with Danny Daniel and Amaury Gutierrez booked for the Paddock Garden at 9 p.m. Foot trucks and DJ El Russo will be on hand at 7 p.m. Patrons are encouraged to bring their own chairs and blankets, but food, beverages and coolers are not permitted.
Doors open at 6 p.m. for Gente De Zona, a Cuban reggaetón group that was part of three Grammy awards after their collaboration with Enrique Iglesias on his 2014 release “Bailando.” The show begins at 9 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are available at 1234ticket.com and are $25 for general admission, and much more for VIP.
Jose Fajardo Jr. plays another free show at 4:30 p.m. Sunday, with Puente listed as his special guest at the Fountain Terrace performance. A classic car show runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and DJ Larry Lopez hosts a dance party after Fajardo and Puente perform.
Brunetti bought the track in 1977 and closed it in 2001, saying there was too much horse racing competition. Hialeah Park was not one of the casinos state voters had in mind when first the state, then Miami-Dade County, approved casinos. It took a legislative approval and challenges all the way up to the Florida Supreme Court for Hialeah to open.
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