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Horses and chariots highlighted at previous Phillips County Fairs PDF Print E-mail
Written by Holyoke Enterprise   

The Enterprise 125th Anniversary commemorative calendar shows the chariot races held at the Phillips County Fair during the 1950s. Competitors would race around the track lined with banners from local businesses, including Dairy King, Hotel Burge, J.C. Penney Co., Holyoke Co-op Association and the Holyoke Drug Company.

According to a 1952 publication in The Holyoke Enterprise, the races were a two-day event with a $100 prize for the winner each day. Large cash prizes were offered for many years in horse racing events with as many as 11 different racing events offered at the fair.

The chariot races were a special event that was included with the horse races at the fair. Horse races was a popular alternative at fairs when rationing during World War II prevented all forms of automobile racing.

In 1954, the track at the fairgrounds was reconditioned to host stock car races. As stock cars regained popularity, horse racing and chariot racing fell by the wayside.

Holyoke Enterprise July 25, 2013