SARATOGA SPRINGS — Impressions of Saratoga is celebrating 40 years in business on Oct. 13. with raffles, giveaways and specials all day. The anniversary celebration will begin at noon and end at 5 p.m. Known as “the everything Saratoga store,” Impressions of Saratoga has been in business since 1978. Now patrons can find a variety of Saratoga and equine themed gifts but it didn’t start out that way. Owners Dave and Marianne Barker had originally owned a t-shirt printing business in Cobleskill.
“Mare (Marianne) wanted to move to Saratoga because she was a big fan of horses and wanted to be in this area. So Dave came here for a sales call and they ended up renting a space,” Maddy Zanetti said. Zanetti owns Impressions and The Dark Horse Mercantile with Marianne and Dave Barker.
The store was first located at 388 Broadway where New Char Koon, a Thai and Chinese restaurant, is currently. However, Impressions of Saratoga has been at its current location, 368 Broadway, since 1986.
“It was a screen printing t-shirt shop and then as you have a t-shirt shop, you start introducing things like mugs, then a few gift items and then it’s just grown. Now, we don’t even print our own t-shirts... We are strictly a retail gift store,” she added.
The Dark Horse Mercantile opened in June but is celebrating a ribbon cutting and grand opening on Oct. 12 in conjunction with the 40th anniversary celebration. Located at 445 Broadway in Saratoga Springs, the store features a full range of high quality gifts, sportswear, memorabilia and items for the home branded with the Dark Horse logo. The phrase “The Dark Horse” was coined in 1831 by Benjamin Disraeli in his book called “The Young Duke” and is often used in politics, sports and life. The phrase especially rings true to the history of Saratoga as it is known as the “the Graveyard of Champions.” Saratoga is the site where the legendary racehorse Man o’ War was defeated by an underdog named Upset in 1919.
The Grand opening will begin at 3 p.m. and end at 7 p.m. with a ribbon cutting ceremony and an appearance by Upset the mini Dark Horse. A wine tasting with Old Tavern Farm Winery will begin at 5 p.m. along with raffles and giveaways as well.