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Goats on the run again in Falmouth as 39th annual races are held

By Phyllis Zimmerman, Special to the Press & Journal
Posted 10/4/17

 

Saturday-morning traffic was so heavy outside Governor Stable’s Park on Sept. 30, organizers delayed the start of the 39th annual Falmouth Goat Races by more than a …

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Goats on the run again in Falmouth as 39th annual races are held

Posted

Saturday-morning traffic was so heavy outside Governor Stable’s Park on Sept. 30, organizers delayed the start of the 39th annual Falmouth Goat Races by more than a half-hour

“There’s thousands of people still trying to get in here,” announcer Gina Mariani told the crowd.

Not bad for an event that started out as a practical joke between friends.

In 1978, Conoy Township resident Kenny Brandt placed a newspaper advertisement asking readers to call his friend Glenn Hipple if they wanted to race their goats. That was after Hipple teased another friend to race a pair of goats that he bought to eat weeds on his property. 

When yet another friend asked Brandt to get a permit for closing Falmouth Road for a goat race, he placed the ad.

Since then, the goat races have become a local tradition and now take place at Governor’s Stables Park to accommodate the crowds. This year, at least 52 goats were registered to the race, said organizer Brandie Halbleib of Elizabethtown.

“I love the goats and I love seeing all the costumes,” Halbleib said. “As silly it is, is, no one here really thinks that it’s silly. It’s a good place for people to show their creativity.”

Nico Givens said he likes the event’s “laidback fun and the memories it brings.” Givens, of Baltimore, is the grandson of founder Kenny Brandt, who died in October 2016. 

“This is something I always did with my grandfather,” Givens recalled. “The final goat race for my grandfather was last year.”

Later in the day, a cow patty bingo game was scheduled at the field. For this, Marvin Fisher and daughter Anya Fisher of Quarryville brought their pregnant miniature jersey, Molly. This was Molly’s second year at the venue.

“Last year, she produced for us. It took her about three hours, but she did it,” Marvin Fisher said with a laugh.

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