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A group of 75 antique and classic cars will be a part of the Blue Ridge Parkway's 75th anniversary celebration on Sept. 11.
Tom Littrell, president of the Twin County Region Antique Automobile Club of America, started a year ago trying to find 75 people who would drive their antique and classic cars through local communities in celebration of the anniversary.
So far, he has signed up nearly 50 and has opened it up to anyone who wants to participate.
“We just thought that this would be a good idea and a good way to commemorate the 75th anniversary,” said Littrell. “We're going to have a potpourri of many different cars.”
Littrell, who owns dozens of antique and classic cars, already has his ride picked out for the tour — a 1935 Ford to commemorate the year the parkway began.
His wife will drive through in a 1957 Thunderbird.
On Sept. 11, the drivers will take a daylong trip from Fancy Gap to Hillsville to Fries to Independence to Galax then to the Blue Ridge Music Center on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
“We're hoping people can watch us go by as we drive by,” said Littrell.
The tour will stop in each of these communities, all of which — except for Fries — have special events planned for Sept. 11. The ride will end at the music center, where the parkway will host an anniversary concert that night.
“The entire region worked well together to make this an effort on everyone's part,” said Judy Brannock, executive director of the Twin County Regional Chamber of Commerce, of the tour and the celebrations going on throughout the region next weekend.
Each participant will receive a special dash plaque, provided by the Chamber of Commerce, for their participation in the tour of cars.
Fancy Gap community — start
Tour Stop — 8:30-9:30 a.m.
Apple Pickin' Festival at the Pickin' Porch and Visitors' Center off U.S. 52 in Carroll County. Live music, food, vendors, crafters, along with car show and band at nearby Orchard Gap.
Town of Hillsville
Tour Stop — 10-11:30 a.m.
Downtown cruise-in on Main Street with free live music at 5:30 p.m., sidewalk sales, tours of historical museum, old courthouse and Historic Carter Home.
Town of Independence
Tour Stop — 12.15-1:45 p.m.
Celebrate Court Days at the Historic 1908 Courthouse. Historical display of construction of the parkway, children's games, live music, local artisans on the courthouse lawn
City of Galax
Tour Stop — 2:30-4 p.m. (Sept. 11 only)
Sept. 10 — Downtown Galax: sidewalk sales; parkway artist P. Buckley Moss at The Framer's Daughter; antique and classic car show 6:30-9 p.m.; free James King Band concert at Grayson Street stage, 8-10 p.m.; Blue Ridge Backroads concert/live radio show at the historic Rex Theater, 8-10 p.m.
Sept. 11 — 10 a.m.-5 p.m.: sidewalk sales; apple butter and cider making, food, craft demonstrations; old-fashioned games; 11 a.m.-5 p.m.: Bluegrass and old-time music jam sessions; cloggers.
Blue Ridge Music Center — end
Arrive @ Music Center — 4:30 p.m.
• Laura Boosinger and Josh Goforth. Free. 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
• Performance/discussion on Round Peak music by The Round Peak Boys (Kirk Sutphin, Kevin Fore, Chester Macmillian and Verlin Clifton) in the indoor theater. Limited seating. Reserve ahead by calling (276) 236-5309 x112. Free. 4:30-5:30pm.
• Flatfooting workshop with Phil Jamison & The Buck Mountain Band. Free. 5:30-6:15 p.m.
• 75th Anniversary Concert, with Ralph Stanley (& The Clinch Mountain Boys, Round Peak Boys. Free. 7 p.m.
• For more information or to sign up, call 236-8423.