(This article first appeared in the June 14, 2017 issue of The Independent Newspaper)
Weekend dwellers across the East End are faced with the commuting dilemma of when to come and when to leave. Traffic across both forks becomes more congested than the heat outside, especially down those single lane roadways. For the Westward bound on Sundays, there’s a perfect pit stop along the way.
Bethpage Polo at the Park located in Bethpage State Park, between the Long Island Expressway and Southern State Parkway, holds their weekly Sunday polo matches. Ideal for those in fancy hats and ball-caps alike, the polo grounds accommodate all types of people and groups. Lounge in the VIP tent with endless light bites, open bar, and live DJ, or pack a picnic to sit in the grandstands. The wide open field allows for guests to enjoy a beautiful view from all angles.
The polo grounds at Bethpage State Park date back to 1934, a long history unknown to many Long Islanders. What makes this location special is the family-friendly environment. Here, the “sport of kings” captivates the audience of its entire kingdom.
Polo at the Park CEO, Bob Ceparano, remains intricately connected to the polo community through numerous endeavors, including running Country Farms, a polo and equestrian center located in Medford. From the grass roots to the tip of the mallets, this is certainly a community with open arms.
The gates open at 2 PM, the match begins at 3 PM, with a typical playing time of two hours. In between each 7.5 minute chukkers (periods), spectators are encouraged to visit the trailers to meet the players and ponies. While the games are played weekly, weather permitting, there are some festive days on the calendar to look forward to with new ones potentially being added as the season goes on.
This Sunday, bring dear ol’ dad for a new kind of Father’s Day outing. On July 2, photographers will gather for Photography Day; July 9 is the Bridgehampton National Bank Cup; July 30 will have special vendors for Ladies Day, with the following week on August 6 (and September 3) dedicated toward Kids Day; August 13 is Artist Day; September 16 is the highly anticipated Harriman Cup, a match between University of Virginia and Yale University; September 17 is the Long Island Pulse private tent event; and closing day is October 8.
The high-energy sport of polo calls to an audience of all ages, to all locations. What better way to enjoy a Sunday than with an extreme sport, good company, and greenery? Make Bethpage Polo at the Park your new Sunday Funday.
Nikki On The Daily is the seasonal manager of the VIP Tent & Events, along with social media for Bethpage Polo at the Park