Bryan, OH - May 2003: "Ready, set, mow" will be the call to action on Sunday, June 29, as the Bryan Chamber of Commerce, the United States Lawn Mower Racing Association (USLMRA) and Spangler Candy Company present the Sta-Bil/Dum Dum Pops Lawn Mower Gran Prix.
Spangler Candy Company will be the primary sponsor of the event, which will coincide with the community's annual Day in the Park festivities. The event, which will be sanctioned by the USLMRA, will be open to experienced racers from around the country as well as to local mowing enthusiasts who are interested in adding a little adventure to a regular summertime chore.
Lawn Mower Racing Association chapters exist in more than 15 states and in Canada. Mowers will race on a specially designed and USLMRA approved track, bordered by straw bales, in the Bryan Recreation Park. The following racing classes and speeds will be available: Stock (10 mph), IMOW (25 mph), Prepared (50 mph) and Factory Experimental (60 mph). All cutting blades are removed for safety, and many other safety regulations are strictly enforced.
On Saturday, May 17, a Drivers' Clinic will be conducted by USLMRA representative Tracy Donihue, for anyone interested in learning more about lawn mower racing. Mr. Donihue will advise potential racers about rules, how to set up a racing mower, safety regulations, and the course itself. The clinic will take place at the Bandstand on the square in downtown Bryan. Mr. Donihue, who is from Reading, Michigan, and is president of the Michigan LRMA, will bring two racing lawnmowers to the clinic for potential drivers to view.
"The Sta-Bil/Dum Dum Pops Lawn Mower Gran Prix is going to be huge for Bryan," said Dean L. Spangler, President and CEO of Spangler Candy Company. "The level of enthusiasm among lawn mower racers and fans is comparable to auto racing. There are also many opportunities for other businesses and organizations to get involved and sponsor portions of this event." Phil Ennen, President of the Bryan Chamber of Commerce and organizer of the Sta-Bil/Dum Dum Pops Lawn Mower Gran Prix, said he looks forward to seeing people from Bryan and other Williams County communities competing. "Anyone with a mower and a little ingenuity can race," Mr. Ennen said. "This also will be an incredible event for anyone who just wants to watch." "At speeds ranging from six mph to 60, this event will give entirely new meaning to an activity that many have in the past considered work," said Mr. Spangler."This event could change lawn mowing in Williams County for years to come."
Dum Dum Pops, Spangler Candy Company's flagship lollipop brand, celebrates its 50th anniversary as a Spangler product this year. The Sta-Bil/Dum Dum Pops Lawn Mower Gran Prix is just one way the company will honor a product that has helped make northwest Ohio famous. The Lawn Mower Gran Prix races will begin at 2 p.m. on June 29, and will coincide with the annual Day in the Park concessions and carnival midway, the car show featuring about 400 cars, and an Ohio Historical Encampment. The annual Fireworks display will happen that evening in the Recreation Park.
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