, Muskogee, OK

June 19, 2013

CHAMBER NOTES: Thanks to all those who helped with event

— The 19th Annual Car Show is in the books.

This year’s was different in many respects. We had an outstanding kickoff to our annual event on Friday evening with the Burnout and Loud Pipe Contests, and the Cruise. The crowd was one of the best ever, as everyone waited for the first round of excitement, and they weren’t disappointed, as the show got started around 7 p.m.

With some 25 entries, the judges had a hard time deciding which was the best, depending on crowd appeal. But when the smoke had settled and the noise subsided, winners were declared. Taking first place in the “Loud Pipe” competition and receiving the very unique trophy designed by Fort Gibson Tire & Wheel was Ryan Freeman, in his very souped-up 1968 Chevy Camaro.

Ryan also took one of the three winning spots in the burnout competition as well, along with James Weaver in his 1983 Chevy truck, and Jonathan Washington in his 1984 Oldsmobile Cutlass. They each won a trophy, along with $100 each ... which will probably go toward new tires.

We were also excited to see around 40-plus vehicles lined up for our Cruise, which started and finished at the Church of Christ parking lot, and took us on a route around our historic town, passing by old downtown, the Historic Site, the National Cemetery, several scenic neighborhoods, and along our very state-recognized school district. At the end, we held a drawing and passed out four $50 bills to participants.

The only mishap to the entire evening, was to my 1970 VW bug convertible, that led the cruise. After all the activities were over, I was driving home when a gas line came off and ignited my engine in flames. By the time I got stopped and the fire under control, my engine was toasted.

Special thanks to those who helped with this portion of the Car Show, namely Jerry Harris, Scott Atkinson, Bob Harris and grandson Dustin, Bobby Harris, Justin Young, and the always helpful Kathy Perkins, Cheryl Hill, and Linda Clinkenbeard. SonBurst Graphic owners, Tonia Cooper and Denise Bain, were also there to take pictures of the event, for anyone who might be interested in getting special shots.

Also, special thanks to the Fort Gibson Police Department and Fire Department personnel that helped out with crowd and traffic control and assisted in the spraying of the street for the burnout. All of Friday evening’s activities are sponsored by Danny Quinton and his crew at Fort Gibson Tire & Wheel.

We started Saturday’s activities by having our traditional breakfast for the Car Show Committee, this year at the American Legion Hall. A delicious breakfast of eggs, pancakes, biscuits, gravy, sausage, fruit, along with drinks was an early morning delight for all of us. Special thanks to Tim Smith and his crew at Post #20, for their efforts.

Cars and vendors started arriving by 7 a.m., and our downtown streets quickly filled up with spectators, vehicles, food and merchandise vendors, and the sound of cruisin’ music, provided by DJ Chris Mann.

The festivities got started at 11, with an opening prayer by Mark Young, followed by the posting of the colors, by Scout Troop 626, and the singing of the national anthem, by Carrigan Bradley — recent runner-up in the Oklahoma Outstanding Teen Competition.

While our total number of entries was down a bit this year, the quality of those that were here was outstanding. We had entries from the 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, and up to a 2013 Can Am Spyder, and a couple “rock-climbing” Jeep entries.

Trophies were handed out to the top 50 entries. Taking “Best of Show” in the motorcycle class was Rod Guinn and his highly chromed 2013 custom V8 chopper. Best of Show in the truck class was Jack Meek and his amazingly restored 1941 Ford PU. Best of Show car went to Bob Almon and his classic 1956 Chevy.

Vendor participation this year was outstanding, with every type of food imaginable, along with many neat merchandise and service-related items. It was estimated that for the two days, well over 2,500 visitors came to our community.

During the Car Show, we were entertained by the local youth band, Ser, consisting of Britton Vanlandingham, Nathan Walkingstick, Tristan Hill, Joel Anderson, and Teddy Hammond. They played several great 80s-era rock tunes to the delight of the crowd.

Again, special thanks goes to all those that helped out, particularly Kathy Perkins, Cheryl Hill, and Linda Clinkenbeard, who ran the office and all the registration duties and T-shirt sales. Outside handling the vehicle lineup and organization was Justin Calvert, Justin Young, David Perry, and Mark Young. Again, special thanks to the Fort Gibson Police Department for their help in blocking the downtown streets and for crowd control. It is always a group effort to make these events happen, and the help of everyone is always so appreciated.

Finally, I want to thank the sponsors of this year’s 19th Annual Car Show: The Fort Gibson Chamber of Commerce, Town of Fort Gibson, Cherokee Nation Businesses, Fort Gibson Tire & Wheel, SonBurst Graphics, Fort Gibson State Bank, OG&E, Harp’s Food Stores, Wayne’s Muskogee Auto Trim, Edward Jones Investments-Mark Young, Clifford D. Garrett Family Funeral Service, Simple Simon’s Pizza-Jim Huggins, Clinkenbeard Agency-Century 21, Perry Financials-Budo and David Perry, Charlie’s Chicken, Tahlequah City Hospital, Servicemaster Elite Restoration Service, Armstrong Bank, ValuMed Pharmacy, Dr. Michael Nelson, Dr. Frank Evans, Pecan Valley Golf Course, and Keith Hardware.