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Out & About: Exhibit about Vermont racing history comes to Wilder

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 6/9/2021 10:08:14 PM
Modified: 6/9/2021 10:08:17 PM

WILDER — Drive on over to the Wilder Club and Library on Saturday for the opening of the “Anything Speed: Automobile Racing in Vermont” exhibit.

And if you — and the children in your life — get there between 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., you’ll get to meet automobile racer Mike Parker, of Hartford, who will be at the library located at 78 Norwich Ave., with a race car he has driven.

The exhibit will be up through July 31 and people can stop by to see it when the library is open. The hours vary, so it is best to check before heading over.

“Anything Speed” was originally put together by the Vermont Historical Society in 2019, where Marieke Sperry, assistant librarian at the Wilder Club and Library and Quechee Library first saw it. After the exhibit ended, it became available for nonprofit organizations to borrow and display.

“I actually really loved it and so when we were planning our summer programming for children, I came across STEM programs for NASCAR and that led me to remember the display, and I went looking for it,” Sperry said.

Kids will also have an opportunity to participate in a NASCAR activity where they will build a small car and use chemistry components to make it mobile at 11 a.m. Saturday. Space is limited and attendees must register by emailing There is a Zoom option available for people who do not feel comfortable attending in person.

The exhibit itself features 13 placards with text and images about various aspects of the history of racing in Vermont, with a focus on the communities that formed around it. Everyone who comes into the library is required to wear a mask, regardless of vaccination status.

“It starts, sort of, with the first race that ever took place in Vermont in 1903, but it talks about the racing, (and) it also talks about the fans,” Sperry said. “It talks about the racers themselves. It talks about the business of promoting the people who own the Vermont race tracks.”

She expects people of all ages will find it interesting. Children who might not be engaged by the text might find the photos of old race cars interesting.

“I really like the photos and the information about when it started. Like the early 1900s because the Vermont mud, the hills and how that influenced the sport here versus other states is just kind cool to see,” Sperry said. “It’s really fun.”

Liz Sauchelli can be reached at or 603-727-3221.

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