If you’re near Hicksville, Ohio, tomorrow, you might want to drop in on the Defiance County fair for one of America’s rarest sporting events:
I picked this flyer up at the Topeka auction house here in Indiana. I found the terms of the race pretty interesting–“a limit of five horses per race”; “all drivers must wear a helmet”; “any type of cart or buggy may be used except race sulkies”.
I assume this is aimed at young bucks and won’t see too many married men, but who knows (Amish in Kansas also participate in buggy races; check out the photo at the link). They run the Hicksville race for a half-mile, and the winner of each race gets “a halter and lead chain”.
As it happens Topeka holds annual July 4th “buggy pull” races. If you missed it I posted a video here: Topeka buggy race.
Topeka reminds me in many ways of Mount Hope, Ohio: an “Amish town”, with relatively few tourists but a lot of buggy traffic, numerous Amish homes in and around the town, and a bustling auction house.
I also visited Hicksville, Ohio a few days back. My impression of this community had been formed by Hicksville Amish I’d met in other settlements (mainly ones who’d moved to the Elkhart-Lagrange settlement).
Based on these meetings I’ve always thought of Hicksville as very friendly folks. Okay, it was a pretty small sample size of just a couple families, but my visit to Hicksville supported this notion. I’ll have more on Hicksville in an upcoming post.
Today I am returning to the Nappanee and Wakarusa area to both the Amish and Old Order Mennonite settlements. Then it’s on the road again, back to Ohio.