By Anita Reding
Phoenix Staff Writer
FORT GIBSON — Ernie Sturgeon said the $1,000 prize at this year’s Car, Truck and Motorcycle Show is a good reason to enter, but not the only reason.
“Well for me, it’s the newness, being the first time to have something that I worked on for so long,” Sturgeon said.
Sturgeon, a retired Muskogee Fire Department captain, said this is the first time he will participate in the Fort Gibson show. He plans to enter his 1960 panhead motorcycle.
“I bought it a year ago, and I’ve just got it running and have been shooting to enter it in this car show since I got it,” Sturgeon said.
Organizers are expecting the 20th annual Fort Gibson Car, Truck and Motorcycle Show to be the best ever.
“We’ve put a lot of money and effort in it to make it our best,” said Gary Perkins, the Fort Gibson Chamber of Commerce president. The chamber is the host of the show, with several sponsors.
This year’s show includes numerous door prizes as well as the drawing for $1,000 for one of the entries in the car show, he said.
The show will get under way at 7 p.m. today with the popular “Burnout Contest” and “Loud Pipe Contest.” The entry fee is $10, and those who want to enter can sign up tonight.
“Those are great crowd pleasers,” Perkins said. “We get a big turnout for those.”
Following those events will be the “Around Town Cruise,” which has no fee to participate, Perkins said.
Participants in the car show Saturday will begin showing up at 7 a.m., and the deadline to enter the competition is 11 a.m.
The show will begin at 11 a.m. with the posting of the colors, the singing of the national anthem and a prayer.
Organizers will begin handing out trophies to the winners at 3 p.m.
Trophies will be given for the top 50 entries, plus the Best of Show categories. Each Best of Show winner will receive $500.
“Something new this year — the public will be able to vote for their favorite entry, and we will give a trophy to the winner of that as the People’s Choice Award,” Perkins said.
Organizers see the majority of the car show entries from around the regions, including Tulsa, but some travel from the Fort Smith, Ark., area and farther south to participate, he said.
The entry fee for the car show is $20, which includes a dash plaque. Participants also will have the chance to win $1,000.
In addition to the cars, there will be large inflatables for the kids, a laser tag area and live entertainment.
James Dause of Fort Gibson is entering a 1937 Ford five-window coupe in the show.
The vehicle, a street rod, has everything in it — heat and air, and an automatic transmission. The coupe has a Corvette engine and transmission, he said.
Dause, who said he is semi-retired, is looking forward to the show.
“Meeting people, looking at other people’s cars, getting in the cars and cruising — that’s the fun of it,” he said.
Reach Anita Reding at (918) 684-2903 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you go
WHAT: Fort Gibson Car, Truck and Motorcycle Show.
WHEN: 7 p.m. Friday for burnout and loud pipe contests. All day Saturday for car show.
WHERE: Near Phillips 66 gas station at the intersection of Lee and Ross streets for the burnout and loud pipe contests. Downtown Fort Gibson on Saturday.
ETC: All events are free. There also will be food vendors and children’s activities.