Longtime Oaklawn Park track announcer Terry Wallace, known as “The Most Recognizable Voice in Arkansas,” has been chosen as the Grand Marshal of the 2013 Oaklawn Rotary Christmas Parade, announced Lee Richardson, parade chair. The parade will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, December 9 in downtown Hot Springs.
Wallace served 37 consecutive years as Oaklawn’s track announcer and headed Oaklawn’s Media Relations Department since 1984, while also serving as Simulcast Host during the track’s simulcast season and long-time member of Oaklawn’s senior management team.
Since succeeding famous race caller Chic Anderson in 1975, Wallace called every race at Oaklawn, never missing a day at the track. He called 20,191 consecutive races, ending his legendary streak on January 28, 2011.
One of racing’s most versatile individuals, he has called races at Ak-Sar-Ben, Louisiana Downs, The Great Barrington Fair, River Downs, Horsemen’s Park and numerous other tracks. As a journalist, he has been a regular contributor for Daily Racing Form and a number of other newspapers and racing periodicals; as a broadcaster, his race calls have become popular on radio and television across the nation.
Wallace has a B.A. degree from Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he majored in modern language. He also spent a year at The Sorbonne in Paris, France.
He has been inducted into the Nebraska Racing Hall of Fame, served on the Board of Directors of the Garland County Literacy Council, and has volunteered his talents for numerous other community activities. He is a 2010 Man-of-the-Year Award recipient from the Arkansas Division of the Horsemen’s Benevolent & Protective Association. He also received the President’s Award from the Garland County Hospitality Association, the Diamond Award from the Advertising and Promotion Commission for his efforts on behalf of tourism in the area, the John Woodruff Award, a lifetime achievement award from the International Association of Broadcasters and the Mr. Fitz Award from the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters. He was inducted into the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame in February, 2012.
Wallace has also been very involved in the American Cancer Society for many years, helping found Hot Springs’ Relay for Life annual event which has been hosted by Oaklawn Park since 2004. The event has raised millions of dollars for ACS.
Wallace has a son, Ernie, in domestic management near Cincinnati, Ohio; a son, Jake, band director at Southeast Oklahoma State University; a daughter, Sarah, in the food service business in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and four grandchildren.
This year’s parade theme is “It’s a Wonderful Life – in Hot Springs, Arkansas.” The parade entry deadline is November 22 at 5 p.m. The entry fee, $50, will be used to support local charities, including the Project Hope Food Bank. Groups and organizations are encouraged to get creative with their parade entries and utilize lights, music noises and animation. Trophies will be awarded in several categories. Parade entry applications, including parade rules, can be found at www.oaklawnrotary.com and www.cityhs.net . For information, email firstname.lastname@example.org .