Laurel Museum Exhibit "And They're Off"
Closing Dec 18, 2011

For Immediate Release  November 23, 2011
Contact:  Lindsey Baker, director@laurelhistoricalsociety.org301-725-7975
And They’re Off! 100 Years at Laurel Park Closing December 18.
Time is running out to enjoy And They’re Off!  100 Years at Laurel Park.  The Laurel Historical Society exhibit marking the track’s 100th year closes for good December 18, 2011.  And They’re Off!  100 Years at Laurel Park explores the glamour and grit of racing, life behind the scenes at the Laurel Race Track, and its impact on the town for which it is named.
The exhibition explores the Laurel track from its beginning years through its different owners.  The exhibit takes visitors from the 1911 track when it began as part of a Four County Fair with high-wire acts to the Golden Age of the Washington International through today’s fading and often tenuous present filled with controversies over slots, bankruptcy, limited racing schedules and threatened shut-downs. 
And They’re Off is filled with articles and memorabilia, including items such as Willie Shoemaker’s boot last, jockey silks, race cards, and famous winner’s circle photos.  There are celebrities, both human and equine, including Secretariat, Count Fleet, and Kelso, Tip O’Neill and Elizabeth Taylor.  
The story of Laurel Park is not just a story of racing.  The exhibit reminds visitors of the concerts, fairs, and even military camp that occupied the grounds at different periods. Singers Rod Stewart, Jethro Tull, Led Zeppelin, the Guess Who and others sang at Laurel Park on July 11, 1969 in a major prelude to Woodstock.
At its heart the exhibit focuses on the people who make up the racing community at the track and in Laurel.  Visitors will meet the Bedwells and the A.M. Kroop family, whose custom shoe and boot making shop still operates on Main Street.  They’ll also be introduced to the Miller family, and King Leatherbury, the third winningest trainer in America who has Barn #1 at Laurel Park.  They’ll also discover Nick Jimmie, a horse who captured the town’s heart in the 1950s.

The Laurel Museum is located at 817 Main Street in Laurel, Maryland. Hours are Sunday 1:00-4:00 p.m., Wednesday and Friday 10:00 a.m.- 2:00 p.m. The Museum will also be open Saturday, December 3 during the Society’s Open House from 10:00am-2:00pm, and Saturday, December 10 the day of the Holiday House Tour, from 2-4:30pm  The Museum will be closed December 19-February 5, 2012.  Its next exhibit:  “True Life:  I Was A Laurel Mill Worker” opens February 6, 2012 Group visits are available throughout the week by appointment, and the John Brennan Research Library is open Monday from 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. and by appointment.  For more information visit