By Skip Knowles
When the Old Car Festival debuted 41 years ago, it was met with rain and thunder by Mother Nature, but 76 brave souls showed up in the rain and enjoyed the day in our wonderful village. Since then, the Festival has grown to host as many as 1,300 cars. Since that first rainy day, we have only had one rain that caused us to close the show early with the threat of lightning and hail.
The Vicksburg Community Association has hosted the Festival since that very first year. It came about when people such as Sue Moore, Mike Wunderlin, Dick Masse, Knowles and others came together to help the village which was struggling, hosting an event to bring people to discover us. Community activities and volunteerism were down and the town needed a reason to give it a little spit and polish.
Historic-vintage vehicles like the Model T, hot rods and special-interest cars will one once again find their way to Vicksburg on Friday night and Saturday, June 10 and 11. This year, one of our special guest cars will be one of the original special guest cars from that original rainy day. Tony Pieta will be bringing his 1923 Buick Sport Touring back to the show after acquiring it from Basil Lewis, the original owner and one of our early Car Festival supporters. It is a freshened-up car and outstanding. It’s hard to believe that it is now 99 years old.
The message from the Knowles family and their merry band of volunteers remains the same. The Old Car Festival is meant to be a very special day of fun in the Village. From its inception, there has been one main goal and that is to have a show where people interested in cars can gather and celebrate their hobby and interest. For a long time, Chevy had this great slogan: “Baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and Chevrolet.” That’s really what the Festival is all about – life in a small town! You might see a brass-era car built before 1915 all the way up to a new C-8 mid-engine Corvette.
The outside activities will be much the same as in years past. However, this year we will also be welcoming a special display, “Eternal Summers,” a display of the Stanley Summers Breweriana Collection. Once again, the Library Book Sale will be back along with the Pancake Breakfast at the Fire Station. The Historic Village will once again be open and hosting the Tin Can Tourists and Gas and Steam Engine Show.
The Mill at Vicksburg is sponsoring our live entertainment tent with the Vicksburg High School Jazz Bands performing from 10 a.m.-noon and Guitar Up playing old hits from 2-3 p.m. In an adjoining tent will be the NABA Beer Advertising and Collectible swap meet and sale which is new this year.
Come join us for a fun day seeing old friends and enjoying good eats and entertainment in the Village!
Friday Night June 10
6-10 p.m. The Cruise In
Saturday June 11
7 a.m.: Pancake Breakfast at Fire Station
8 a.m.: Car Registration on Main St.
9 a.m.-3 p.m.: Vicksburg Old Car Festival, Downtown Vicksburg with Live Entertainment
9 a.m.-3 p.m.: Clark Park Arts and Craft Show, Prairie Street
9 a.m.-3 p.m.: Flea Market Swap Meet
9 a.m.-3 p.m. Beer Advertising and Collectables Sale
1 p.m.: Vicksburg Community Schools Foundation Annual Duck Derby
Want to help? Please give us a call to volunteer—Skip (269) 720-4144 or Ryan (269) 720-9787
By Skip Knowles