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Meridian Speedway: Revving Through Historical Milestones

Celebrating Meridian Speedway's Distinction in the National Register of Historic Places, Reflecting Its Enduring Cultural and Sporting Significance

Article by Denise Llorente

Photography by Tyler Schild + Meridian Speedway

Originally published in Meridian Lifestyle

Meridian Speedway, a cherished landmark nestled in the heart of Meridian, Idaho, has recently gained national recognition by being listed in the esteemed National Register of Historic Places. This prestigious designation highlights the Speedway's profound local significance, tying it closely to Meridian's rich agricultural and recreational heritage.

Originally conceived as a dual-purpose venue for agricultural exhibitions and automotive racing, Meridian Speedway has stood as a testament to community spirit and resilience for nearly 75 years. Constructed in 1949 through the collaborative efforts of dedicated volunteers, the Speedway quickly became a focal point for both agricultural enthusiasts and racing aficionados alike.

Despite the passage of time and the evolution of its surroundings, Meridian Speedway remains a beloved fixture at 335 S. Main Street, encapsulating the essence of Meridian's past while adapting to the needs of its vibrant present. Over the years, various upgrades have ensured that the Speedway continues to serve as a vital hub of activity within the community.

Under the stewardship of current operator Adam Nelson, Meridian Speedway has not only maintained its historical integrity but has also garnered recognition on a national scale. Its affiliation with esteemed organizations such as the American Speed Association and NASCAR underscores its status as a premier racing destination, drawing competitors and spectators from across the Pacific Northwest and beyond.

As Meridian prepares to celebrate the 95th anniversary of Meridian Dairy Days this summer, the inclusion of Meridian Speedway in the National Register of Historic Places serves as a fitting tribute to its enduring legacy.

Beyond its significance in the realm of auto racing, Meridian Speedway holds a special place in the annals of Meridian's agricultural history. Since its inception, the Speedway has been intertwined with the city's dairy industry, serving as the venue for Meridian Dairy Days, an annual celebration of the region's rich farming heritage.

Established in 1949 as the permanent home for Meridian Dairy Days, the Speedway's grounds have played host to generations of livestock exhibitors, dairy farmers, and community members alike. This longstanding tradition, which draws thousands of visitors each year, underscores the Speedway's enduring cultural relevance and its role as a unifying force within the community.

The inclusion of Meridian Speedway in the National Register of Historic Places is a testament to the concerted efforts of the City of Meridian's Historic Preservation Commission, in collaboration with the Idaho State Historic Preservation Office, the National Parks Service, and The Arrowrock Group (TAG). Together, these entities have worked tirelessly to ensure that Meridian's rich heritage is preserved for future generations to cherish and enjoy.

Blaine Johnson, president of the Meridian Historic Preservation Commission, emphasizes the profound impact of Meridian Speedway on the fabric of the community. As a cherished symbol of Meridian's past, present, and future, the Speedway stands as a living testament to the resilience and spirit of its residents.

For those eager to explore the Speedway's storied history, a virtual tour is available online, offering a glimpse into its enduring legacy and cultural significance. As Meridian continues to evolve, Meridian Speedway remains a steadfast beacon of tradition and pride, ensuring that its legacy endures for generations to come.

  • PC: @meridianparksandrecreation
  • 1968 flagman, Bob Broadwater PC: