This year's annual Car Show at the Depot is expected to be the best yet, local organizers said.
The event is expected to draw hundreds of people to the downtown Thomson Depot on Saturday, May 5 to view dozens of classic cars and trucks.
Such car/truck shows have grown in popularity in recent years all over the United States. Locally, car/truck club members from as far away as Atlanta are planning to show off their mint-conditioned cars and trucks.
Those planning to attend the annual event also can count on being entertained with a variety of games, as well as 50s and 60s music provided by disc jockey Cheryl Hart of Atlanta. There also will be an assortment of delicious food and cold drinks from vendors who will have operations setup near the historic railroad depot in the Camellia City of the South.
"We're going to have something fun for the entire family to do on May 5 at the Depot," said Carolyn Gilbert, executive director of the Thomson-McDuffie County Chamber of Commerce. "We're hoping that the weather is cooperative and that we're able to put on our best car/truck show ever."
This year's theme is to "bring a kid to the car show," Mrs. Gilbert said. "We want to make this a nice family day."
In addition, she added, "We want to compliment the annual Dearing May Festival, which will be going on in Dearing on the same day as our car show. We feel like a lot of people will attend both events."
The Car Show at the Depot, which will begin at 11 a.m. and run until 5 p.m., began several years ago with a request from two local men, Cecil Hogan and Milton Goldman.
"They approached me several years ago about wanting us to sponsor a car show as part of our chamber events," recalled Mrs. Gilbert. "I'm so delighted that their idea to do this has turned out as successful as it has."
After the first car/truck show here, Mr. Hogan was stricken with cancer. He died before the second show.
Mr. Hogan will be remembered during a special ceremony this year by members of the CSRA Road Angels - an area car club.
Craig Butler, of Thomson, is expected to present a special award named in Mr. Hogan's memory.
"Without Cecil and Milton, we may never have had a car show as an annual chamber event," Mrs. Gilbert said. "Those two men got out and worked hard to promote our first car show, passing out flyers and making lots of phone calls. I'll never forget how hard they worked to get this event started."
A special chamber of commerce committee also has spent many hours working on promoting this year's event.
"We couldn't do this, if it weren't for all the hard work of our committee members," Mrs. Gilbert said. "They have done a wonderful job."
The chamber committee is made up of Cindy Cox, Dena Williams, Alan and Judy Shapiro, Wayne Williford, Jonette Bell and Frankie Galbreath.
A number of fun events are planned for children and adults at next month's Car Show at the Depot, Mrs. Williams said. Two of those events include hula-hoop and dance contests.
"It's going to be a lot of fun for everyone, we hope," added Mrs. Williams. "We invite everybody to come out and join in the fun with us."
Trophies and prize money will be awarded to those declared winners in different categories of the car/truck show.
The upcoming event is sponsored by the following area businesses: Jimmy & Dena's Body Shop, Anthony Auto Sales, Jim Hudson Lexus, Milsco Manufacturing, Stokes-Hodges, C&C Tire, Sunset Auto, White Columns Inn, Culpepper Ford, Kelley Business Printers, McDuffie County Tourism and Visitors Bureau, WTHO, The McDuffie Mirror and The McDuffie Progress.
Anyone wishing additional information about the Car Show at the Depot is asked to contact the chamber office at (706) 597-1000.