THE HAPPY ACCIDENT OF THE GREAT HOLYOKE BRICK RACE
The Great Holyoke Brick Race was born sometime in November of 2010 when Bruce Fowler and Dean Nimmer were trying to figure out how to stage an exciting racing event like the “Belt Sander” races they had seen on YouTube.
Unlike the too tame Pinewood Derby races Boy Scouts have, Bruce and Dean thought they wanted to race something more bizarre and crazy like the motorized belt sanders, circular saws and routers being raced around San Francisco, CA and Portland, OR.
However, their plan to race these outright dangerous machines literally went up in smoke when they saw a video featuring a jury-rigged vacuum cleaner racing against a supercharged lawn mower powered by a propane jet engine. Horrified, they witnessed the propane contraption spinning out of control spewing flames as it advanced toward the onlookers! Somehow no one was cooked alive as the crazed crowd chanted, “Burn baby, burn!”
Seeing that potential catastrophe scared the crap out of Bruce and Dean knowing they’d be on the wrong end of a lawsuit charged with complete insanity and grandiose stupidity in the first degree!
Discouraged and frustrated, Bruce saw an old dusty brick on his coffee table and said, “What the hell let’s just have a brick race, no motors, no propane, just a brick!” That revelation took a moment to sink in as they both looked at the dumb, innocuous brick and pronounced this a brilliant idea! Thus, the safe and semi-sane, but very creative, Great Holyoke Brick Race, was born!
Since our first actual Brick Race in 2011, over 350 contestants and more than 1,000 spectators of all ages thrilled to be part of the only true Brick Race known in the entire U.S.A. After all, the Brick Race belongs to the city that invented volleyball, Holyoke, Massachusetts, now known as the hub of brick racing around the world!
You are invited to build a brick race car for the 11th annual Great Holyoke BrickRace to be held Saturday, OCT 15th 2022 (no rain date). This will be the 11th annual Holyoke Brick Race sponsored by Paper City Studios in downtown Holyoke. We believe that our “Brick Race” idea is the first of its kind anywhere in the country, and certainly it’s the first brick race ever to take place in the fine city of Holyoke, Massachusetts.The purpose of the event is to bring together the diverse community of Holyoke and surrounding towns for a day of fun, excitement and creativity for all to enjoy. We want to have as many brickracecars as can be created to kick off our 11th event, and we’d like to invite you to participate by building your own brick racer.
Who can enter?
1.We invite all interested people, of any age and background – artists, students, teachers,mechanics, car buffs, tinkerers, inventors, Library of Congress archivists and compulsive contest enterers, etc. – all are welcome.
2.You may enter as an individual or as part of a group with any number of participants to make one racecar.
3.Entrants do not have to be residents of Holyoke, Massachusetts to participate in the competition, and we will accept entries from contestants worldwide including Framingham, Fargo, Fairbanks, Faskrudsfjordur (Iceland) and anywhere else – build a brick racecar and you’re in!
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