‘Christmas in July’ celebration to benefit Toys for Tots tonight

Today is a special day at Oswego Speedway. For the first time, the “Steel Palace” will present “Christmas in July” to benefit Toys for Tots of Oswego County.

“Christmas in July” will feature free food for those who bring a toy for Toys for Tots, awards for the best decorated Supermodified pit and best decorated SBS pit, best dressed member of the Oswego Speedway staff, and best decorated push truck/safety truck/tow truck, fireworks, and a visit by Santa himself.

“This is something I’ve thought about doing for a couple years now,” said Coordinator Lisa Sova. “This year, during the off season, several of us at the track started to talk about it seriously, and we came up with this program to benefit Oswego County youngsters through Toys for Tots. We are hoping this will become an annual event because it is for such a great cause and everybody can have some fun with it.”

Every person who brings a nice, unwrapped toy will receive a free Hofmann hot dog combo meal, which includes a Hofmann hot dog, fries, and a Coca Cola product or Dasani water.

“If all members of a family bring a nice unwrapped toy,” Sova said, “they will each receive the free Hofmann hot dog combo meal.”

Toys should be for youngsters from toddlers to early teens.  The Oswego County Toys for Tots program will be represented at the track and organizers will take all of the gifts and distribute them to needy children during the Christmas season.

Terry Strong of the Plum Krazy 99 Supermodified team says her team is out to win the best decorated Supermodified pit or hauler.

“I just think this is a fantastic idea,” said Strong. “What a great way to have some fun and at the same time make a significant contribution to the needy kids in Oswego County.”

The Strong team will have its work cut out as a number of other teams have already started preparations on decorating their pits and hauler. The excitement is no less on the SBS side of the pits.

Jay Andrews, always known to both have a good time and help out a worthy cause, said his Team Tapout is all in.

“We’ve decorated our hauler for other events,” said Andrews, “and this is such a great way to help local kids. You can be sure there will be an individual contest between my 93 team and Jason’s 98 team.”

Jason is Jason Simmons, driver and owner of the two car Team Tapout.

Several of the track workers have already either purchased or made costumes for “Christmas in July.”

Almost all of the workers will be sporting Santa Claus hats.

Terry Thompson, who works at Mitchell’s Speedway Press and sells programs at the track, says he’s going to be hard to beat as the best dressed employee. While he wouldn’t give away any of his ideas for a costume, Thompson said, “You know me, so you know it’s going to be spectacular.”

The push trucks, safety trucks, and tow trucks will have their work cut out for them since they have to come up with a display that won’t fall apart or fall over when the vehicle is in motion.

Paul Conzone of the track safety crew said that the safety crew will really have its work cut out for them to come up with a Christmas display for the front straight safety truck, “but you know us. We’re really all over anything that is going to help those less fortunate. We’ll be there, and we’ll be decorated.”

Conzone did say the safety crew likely won’t be able to wear the Santa hats because of other equipment they have to wear.

“Lights on the Christmas displays are certainly encouraged,” said Sova, “but they will have to be turned off during all races.  They can be on at all times except when there is a race on the track.”

Nothing may be erected on top of the hauler as part of the display.

Tonight, there will also be a fireworks display.

Grandstand gates will open at 4 p.m. with racing hitting the Speedway at 6:30 p.m.

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