Richard Stephens, Jr.
Oklahoma Route 66 Association
This is not the summer of ’66 when Paul Revere and the Raiders sang, “SS 396” but it is Route 66 and summer – making it time to hold Sapulpa’s car-centric Route 66 Blow-Out. This year’s successful event on Sep 11-12 was again hosted by Sapulpa Main Street and led by veteran organizer Cindy Lawrence. She recognized her committee that included Gina Belk, Cindy McGuire, Michael Jones, Joe Krout, Leon Warner, and Brean Fowler, and 90 volunteers.
On Friday night, crowds formed on Dewey Avenue (Route 66) and Main Street, anticipating an American Graffiti-like cruise. They were not disappointed as a stream of souped-up, jacked-up, revved up and lit up cars and trucks paraded down and back on Dewey and Main – often braking, spinning smoking tires, and racing. Crowds cheered them on.
At D-Luxe Dispensary (cannabis) on Main Street, cars could turn around and head back or stop and their drivers eat from one of three food trucks and listen to music. Makayla Gaylord, singing and playing guitar with five family and friends (including Dave, her father, on guitar and fiddle), alternated with the Travis Kidd Band from 6-10 pm. Gaylord, 16 years old from Vinita, has a naturally talented singing voice pleasant to listen to. Her country and ballad song set included “That’s Who I Am” and “Somebody’s Daughter.” Kidd entertained about 30 people with a variety of songs. His trio sings and plays well, easily changing from the Allman Brothers to Jimmy Buffett. “Oklahoma Sunset” and “Loud Guitars in Run Down Bars” stood out.
Two hundred and thirty-eight cars and pick-up trucks drove in from Kansas, Missouri, and throughout Oklahoma on Saturday morning, hoping to win awards in the Blowout Car Show. A 1955 Chevy 210 Sedan parked next to a 2020 Lamborghini Huracan. A 1948 Ford Coupe gleamed and winked. Camaros, Mustangs, Coupes, Corvettes, pick-ups and even a Nash and Corvette or two vied with antique and classic vehicles for attention over a three-block area on Dewey Ave. Despite the 95-degree heat, at least two thousand admirers peered under hoods and into vehicle interiors.
Because Saturday was also the twentieth anniversary of 9/11, a day of remembrance, State Senators Mark Lawson and James Leewright, who represent Creek and Tulsa Counties, spoke to the crowd.
First, Lawson thanked Sapulpa Main Street and its director, Cindy Lawrence, for, “…continuing to bring this awesome event to our community.” He followed by saying, “There is nothing that we can say or do to ever thank our military, our veterans, and our first responders. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t take every opportunity to try and do so. So, today, on this 20th anniversary of 2001, September 11th, to our first responders and our military, please accept our most sincere gratitude and thank you for your service.”
Leewright followed, saying, “It just overwhelms me when I think that we lost 3000 lives in the worst American tragedy on US soil from a terrorist attack twenty years ago, but over 300 of first responders lost their lives that day too.” Both thanked Oklahoma’s first responders and military.
Vendors showcased their products on Dewey Ave. as well. While some sold wine and mead, others displayed clothes and commercial real estate. Attendees could learn about local churches, the American Legion, and much more.
Events like these take many sponsors. Main Street recognized Paragon Industries, X-Pedite Services, D-Luxe Properties, SeneGence International and 15 other financial and in-kind donors.
Many people stayed to hear the top three winners in each of about 59 vehicle classes of the Blowout Car Show. The Draggin’ Masters Car Club, led by Raymond Kreps, provided judges. The top five Best-In-Show were Jay Driggers (5th), Ed Classen (4th), Brad Pinner (3rd), Corkey Waggers (2nd) and Dwayne Layman (1st). Not everyone walked away with an award, but all could say it was a good car show.
And a good Blowout festival. “We have a great show,” said Lawrence. “We bring really a lot of quality cars here. It’s a lot of fun, a lot of things to do and see. So, we just hope everybody will come out and have a good time.”
Gallery photos by Pam Younger: