Celebrating the history of Beulah Park

Step back in time to an era of grand celebrations rich in tradition.

Beulah Park, Ohio’s first thoroughbred racetrack, is closing its gates after 91 years of racing.

The public is invited to the Beulah Park Celebration from noon to 5 p.m., Saturday, April 26 at Beulah Park, 3811 Southwest Blvd. Tickets are available for purchase at the Grove City Parks and Recreation Department, 4035 Broadway, for $10. Coins commemorating the track’s history and a buffet lunch are included.

The land has been a center of recreation since Grove City first moved beyond the original grid of streets along Harrisburg Pike into Beulah’s Addition. The first Grove City Fair in September 1895 featured a half-mile track hosting a variety of racing – trotting and pacing horses, bicycles and even goats. It was a hub of activity for decades with Grove City and Franklin County fairs, community gatherings, picnics, religious revivals, concerts and baseball games – and a continuing theme of horse racing.

In 1923, a group of investors, the Capital City Racing Association, took over the grounds and opened “Beulah Park,” a dedicated thoroughbred track – the first one in Ohio. Over the years, Beulah Park remained at the forefront of the sport in the buckeye state, the first to record automatic photo finishes, to display results on tote boards, and to offer simulcast wagering on the Kentucky Derby.

Over the years, Beulah Park remained the center of an active social scene in Grove City, hosting many events and concerts, most recently Grove City’s annual Balloons & Tunes and Blast at Beulah events. The last day of racing is Saturday, May 3.

The April 26 celebration showcases the history of the park and gives patrons the chance to experience live racing. Featured speakers are Mayor Richard L. “Ike” Stage, B.J. Roach and Ayers Ratliff, who will share live racing information and betting tips. LifeCare Alliance is selling vintage, race-worn silk jockey jackets donated by Beulah Park. Gates open at 11 a.m. with the ceremony beginning at noon. An open buffet is available from 1 to 4 p.m. and racing begins at 1:15 p.m. All proceeds from ticket and jacket sales benefit the LifeCare Alliance Meals-on-Wheels program. LifeCare Alliance provides services to assist older adults and medically challenged residents in Franklin County.

Don’t miss your chance to experience this historical landmark before it closes.

For information about the event, visit www.grovecityohio.gov or call 277-3050.

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