Last year almost 300 volunteers helped more than 18,000 at the New Albany Classic Invitational Grand Prix and family day.

Last year almost 300 volunteers helped more than 18,000 at the New Albany Classic Invitational Grand Prix and family day.

Organizers are planning for a similar crowd at this year's New Albany Classic but have 300 volunteers to greet, clean and inform at the Sept. 28 event.

According to information from event organizers, volunteer jobs at the classic range from helping children off and onto rides and food service to setting up and lending a hand with arts and crafts projects.

Lisa Hinson, one of the event's organizers, said half of the 300 volunteers are returning.

"We have nearly 300 volunteers so literally that enables us to host 17,000-plus people throughout the day," she said. "Their contribution to the event is invaluable."

All volunteers must attend a two-and-a-hour training session one week before the classic, but Hinson said most are happy to be there.

"Over half are returning volunteers, so they have experience and they understand not only how to control the crowd, but they're happy to be there," she said.

Several volunteers come from groups that bring volunteers year after year. Hinson said some of the event's sponsors give not only money, but also volunteers to the event.

"It's such an enthusiastic, happy group of people to work with. It's one of the really unique aspects of the event," she said. "It's a family-oriented event. We have people looking after kids and hosting the guests; that makes it a special day."

The New Albany Chamber of Commerce has a group volunteering at the Sept. 28 event, and chamber president Eileen Leuby said the group has returned several times.

"We have been there since the inception," she said.

In the past, the chamber has offered anywhere from 10 to 30 volunteers for the event. Leuby said the size and the cause have prompted volunteers to return.

"This is New Albany's premier event," she said. "It draws residents from all over central Ohio who come here not only to enjoy the day, but to support the cause."

While the classic offers numerous activities -- the top 30 professional horse riders in North America and Europe and a concert with Disney artists Demi Lovato and Jordan Pruitt -- the entire event was started to benefit the Columbus Coalition Against Family Violence.

Since the classic's inception, more than $15-million has been raised for the coalition.

The gates for the classic open at 10 a.m. and events include:

The Tween Brands concert at noon, featuring Demi Lovato and Jordan Pruitt.

The opening ceremony at 2 p.m., with the equestrian competition starting at 2:30 p.m.

The Ohio State University marching band with cheerleaders and Brutus the Buckeye at 11:30 a.m.

The hometown-heroes tent with OSU athletes and local news personalities.

Border collie demonstrations at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Children's activities with BalletMet, Columbus Museum of Art, Franklin Park Conservatory, Jazz Arts and the Wexner Center for the Arts.

Carriage rides, jugglers, carnival rides and animals from the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.

Tickets cost $15 and must be purchased prior to the event. Children ages 12 and younger will be admitted for free.

Tickets may be purchased at Ticketmaster locations, the Easton Town Center guest-services desk, Equus Now! and New Albany Realty offices. Tickets will not be sold at the gate.