Thursday, March 21, 2013

Early 80s Greek Week Chariot Races

In the early 80s, Clarkson held a Greek Week (Weekend in '81) in the fall to introduce freshmen to the fraternities. One of the events held was a chariot race, in the lawn of The Pit.  One alumni said these later turned into Bed Races, until someone was accidently dumped off in the middle of Main Street.

Can anyone else share details on these events?  Here are some photos and an article I found.




October 1982 Clarkson Integrator:
Saturday's chariot races proved to be the climax of Greek Week.  Around 10:30 that morning, the contestants began to arrive in front of Walker Arena. By 11:30, all the teams had shown up and were ready to start the traditional parade.  This year proved to be no exception to the outrageous chariots built by the various houses.

AGO showed up in a chariot designed to resemble a boat, complete with a sail.  TKE refurbished a piece of old farm machinery to travel at high speed, while Theta Chi included a toilet a part of their chariot.
 
If an award were given for originality, the brothers of TEP would have won by far.  Pulled by their entire brotherhood was the back half of a '62 Nova convertible.  The brothers included both a working horn and stereo in the chariot and blasted appropriate tunes such as "Low Rider" and "Goin' Mobile" to the crowd.

After the racers assembled in front of Walker Arena, they began the parade from Walker Arena up the hill past the Pit and Cubley-Reynolds, and into the ERC parking lot.  They circled the parking lot and went back down the hill to the Pit, where they lined up along the Route 11 side of the Pit.

By starting time, over 500 people were either on both sides of the Pit lawn or watching from the cafeteria.  When the starter gave the signal, the chariots in each heat took off and raced to the Powers side of the lawn.  The winners of each heat were greeted by cheers from both the crowd and their respective houses.

The race went well for most houses, but proved to be a bad one for both TEP and AGO.  AGO's chariot lost a wheel halfway through the race, and the sisters were forced to drag their boat across the lawn.  They still managed to keep close to TEP, who had most of the house either pushing or pulling their half-ton monster of a chariot.  As TEP finally passed AGO, they blasted their horn to signal that they were going by, much to the enjoyment of the crowd.

In the final race, Crow crossed the finish line yards ahead of Theta Chi and TDK.  TKE had to settle for fourth place, as their chariot went off its path into the crowd.

1986 Clarkson yearbook:







1981 Clarkson yearbook:







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