ELLOREE, S.C. — For the first time in three years, the Elloree Trials returns to Orangeburg County. This beloved horse race was put on hold due to COVID-19.
“It’s something that people enjoy. It’s outdoors, and the phones have been ringing off the hook," said Elloree Training Center owner Frank 'Goree' Smith.
This will be the 59th year of the event. It was cancelled in both 2020 and 2021 because of restrictions on large gatherings. According to Smith, this year's event will operate as normal with no restrictions enforced.
He says more than 3,000 people from across the country are expected to come to Orangeburg County for the event. Some years, up to 5,000 people have been in attendance.
More tourism means more people shopping local.
“If we could get a great day this year, we’ll be right on the record with them, especially with the interest and what we hear from everybody," said Smith.
Charlene Rainey owns Vintiq Boutique in Elloree. The store opened the year the trials were cancelled.
“We are excited to have it back. There’ll be a lot of traffic up Highway 6 so hopefully that’ll bring a lot of people to Cleveland Street," said Rainey.
The 2022 Elloree Trials take place March 19 at the Elloree Training Center. Gates open at 8 a.m. The opening ceremonies begin at 12 p.m. General admission is $20 and can be purchased at the gate.