Mark your calendar early: The Hot Rod Power Tour will be returning to Racine on Sunday, June 7, 2009. Dave Blank, executive director of the Racine County Convention and Visitors Bureau, whispered the news into my ear this morning -- before then blabbing it all over WRJN's airwaves. Thanks for the scoop, Dave!
The tour will bring 3,500 to 4,000 souped-up cars here direct from the era in which nobody cared how much gas cost. Beautiful cars with pampering owners.
Last year, the tour brought about 2,200 hot rods to Racine, although the weather did not cooperate.
Update, 6/16: Here's the press release Dave Blank just sent out:
Racine County will welcome the 14th Annual Hot Rod Magazine Hot Rod Power Tour, one of the greatest auto tours in the world, to the streets of Downtown Sunday, June 7, 2009. Revving through seven cities in seven days, spectators can expect to see their favorite Camaro’s, Cadillac DeVille’s, Dodge Challengers, Ford Ranchero’s and many more.
The retailers will be open and the lakefront will be hoping as 3,500 one-of-a-kind hot rods are expected to cruise the streets of Downtown. 5,000 participants and 10,000 spectators from all fifty states are expected to take part in the event. The tour begins Saturday, June 6, in Madison before coming to Racine.
The event will take place in downtown Racine and along the lakefront in Pershing Park from noon to 7 p.m. Public parking along Main Street and the adjoining side streets will be curtailed and Pershing Drive will be closed to traffic.
The majority of the estimated 1,000 “long haul” participants will be arriving between noon and 2 p.m. and will then check in and be directed to their designated parking area. About 2,500 “short haul” cars are expected from all over the Midwest.
The participants will spend the day looking at the cars, visiting with the many event sponsors, renewing old acquaintances with other participants and shopping. At 6:30 p.m. there will be a door prize drawing on the Main Stage that will be set up at the corner of 6th Street and Pershing Drive. Following this, the crowd will disperse to local restaurants, bars and lodging facilities.
The Racine event is sponsored by the Racine County Convention and Visitors Bureau. The Hot Rod Power Tour is sponsored by GM Performance Division and co-sponsored by Flowmaster Exhaust Systems. The event is free to spectators. More information and car registration can be found at http://www.hotrod.com or contact the RCCVB at 262-884-6400.