JOSEPH –Antique, vintage, classic and meticulously restored vehicles of all ages will converge on Wallowa County this weekend for the 24th annual Oregon Mountain Cruise car rally.
“We’ll probably have 210 or more cars for the Show-n-Shine,” said Chuck Garrett of Joseph, one of the event’s founders who continues to serve as chairman. “We’re hoping for good weather.”
The popular event starts Friday, June 8, with sign-up and socializing for pre-registered cruisers from 4 to 7 p.m. at Joseph Community Center. “The Roaring 20s” is the theme of this year’s rally, and period dress is encouraged for a chance to win prizes.
The social will be followed by a 7 to 11 p.m. dance, with live music by the Brady Goss Band, which is open to the public. Alcoholic beverages will be available for this adults-only affair.
Action will switch to Joseph’s Main Street for the Show-n-Shine event – where everyone gets a chance to examine and admire 200 or so vehicles lined along both sides of the street – from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, June 9. Four blocks will be closed to all traffic, turning downtown Joseph into a pedestrian mall lined with colorful classic automobiles.
Car owners who are not registered ahead of time can still participate in the Show-n-Shine by signing up at the community center and paying $12 (includes one dash plaque, but not dinner) from 7:30 to 9 a.m. Saturday.
Owners of the vehicles are usually on hand next to their autos to talk to admirers about the history of their favorite restoration project.
Main Street will be a busy place Saturday, with the weekly Farmers Market, live music by the Blackhorse band, a Joseph Library book sale and a museum board pie sale all part of the activity.
The public is encouraged to vote for their favorite cars for the prestigious People’s Choice Award, while the car owners themselves will vote on most trophy categories, which include classic restored car and truck, modified custom car and truck, moonshine hauler and sports car. There will also be awards for Ladies’ Choice and Kids’ Choice, with ballots available on the street.
Probably the most coveted trophy every year goes to the King of the Mountain (last year that honor went to a 1926 Packard Boat Tail Speedster, owned by Cheryl Luce and John Potts of Battle Ground, Wash.)
Another special trophy goes to the Ragman Memorial Award winner in honor of the late James “Ragman” Tushcoff, one of the founders of Oregon Mountain Cruise who died in 2005. Members of his family pick the car they think he would’ve liked the best.
Last year’s Ragman winner, a black and purple ‘69 Chevy Camaro owned by Steve and Janie Spoor of Star, Idaho, is featured along with the 2011 King of the Mountain on this year’s Oregon Mountain Cruise poster and will also appear on the 2012 T-shirt.
The Ragman winner will be announced about 2:30 p.m. Saturday and have the honor of leading the “Ragman Memorial Cruise” procession of all the cruise cars to Enterprise and back from 3 to 4 p.m.
The final event is dinner for cruisers, scheduled from 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday in the community center, with award presentations from about 7 to 8 p.m. outside in the center’s parking lot.
Some of the trophy winners will be featured in the Winner’s Circle after the presentation.
In addition to the car rally, Joseph plays host to the Wallowa Mountain Quilters Guild Quilt Show at Joseph High School Friday and Saturday and while Enterprise holds the Old-Time Fiddler Show Saturday night (see separate stories). The American Legion will serve breakfast from 6 to 11 a.m. Saturday and Sunday in its Main Street hall.
If weather permits, the Wallowa County Pilots Association will stage a fly-in into the Joseph Airport Saturday morning. The public is invited to come view aircraft and participate in a $5 breakfast consisting of ham, eggs, pancakes, juice, and coffee. The breakfast is the association’s annual fundraiser.
For more information, visit www.oregonmountaincruise.com.