It’s Friday morning and City Administrator Brian Bloyd is using a blower to clean the sidewalks before he drives the street sweeper up and down Main Street in preparation for the annual Crusin’ Into Summer Car Show. The National Honor Society students gather on Main Street to wash businesses’ windows while Craig Norton and Stan Englert are installing a new amplifier, purchased by the city, so music can once again be heard up and down the street.
Helping to create awareness about safe driving habits, the S.A.F.E (Seatbelts are for Everyone) write messages on the sidewalk. Downtown businesses arranged for extra help on Saturday, some extending their hours to accommodate the crowd.
On a foggy Saturday morning, 51 cars and motorcycles drove in from Lamar, Eads, La Junta, Towner, Cheyenne Wells, Colo., Garden City, Scott City, Ulysses, Sharon Springs, Leoti, Dighton, Goodland, Hugoton, Holcomb and of course, Syracuse.
Once the entries were in place, people young and old, enjoyed visiting and learning a bit of history about the people and their cars. One gentleman told a story of how he waited for three years to get his hands on a 2006 Chrysler 300 C to match his 1957 Chrysler 300 C.
Randy Braddock, with his nephew Eli Braddock walked by a 1962 SS Impala with two drive in movie speakers on a stand. Eli asked, “What are those?”
Local, Kerry Lee, bought and restored “Fats” LaRosh’s 1955 Chevy 3100 series pickup. Some may remember Fats, a custodian at the school, driving it, although now it is sporting a beautiful white paint scheme.
The local Masonic Lodge had a 1963 Ford Thunderbird on display, selling tickets to raise money for the Kansas Masonic Foundation.
Some of years past Best of Show winners returned because they enjoy coming to Syracuse. The support of the local car show enthusiasts year after year is phenomenal. “Without their interest and input in helping to organize the event in the beginning, and their entries, year after year, it would not be what it is today,” said Krista.
Jordan Spears, Bulldog Pizzeria said they had an above average Saturday. “It was wonderful to see Main Street and our dining room full!”
Denice Kennedy of Porky’s Parlor said, “It was a great day.”
The Garden Shed owner Marlene Ashmore said it was the best day they have ever had. “There were shoppers every minute of the day.”
Winners were announced at 1:30 PM with the participants gathering underneath the theater’s marquee. Best of Show Off Road winner was local resident, Mike Howland, who entered his 2013 Polaris RZR, winning a plaque and a year membership to the Syracuse Sand Dunes.
Best of Show Bike winner was another local, Cameron Coleman, a 2011 Ultra Limited Harley Davidson, winning a plaque and a cash prize.
People’s Choice winner was a 1967 Shelby GT 500 owned by Greg Berry from Garden City, winning a plaque and a John Deere screwdriver set.
Top five best of show were a 1970 Chevrolet Monte Carlo owned by local resident, Don Hasik, a 1939 Ford Coupe, Elmer Grett, Lamar, 1955 Chevrolet Convertible, Larry Smith, Garden City, 1968 Plymouth GTX, Leonard Wilson of Ulysses.
Only four points separated the top five cars, but the winner of the Best of Show was also the People’s Choice, Greg Berry’s 1967 Shelby GT 500, winning a plaque and a battery, donated by T & W Tire.
Once the prizes were given, you could hear the engines starting up, heading south on main, some pausing for pictures in front of the theater. Aside from the heavy fog for a short time in the morning, Mother Nature delivered a perfect morning for the car show.
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