After a three-year absence, Rock ‘n Red Deer is set to turbocharge downtown streets and Westerner Park once again.
Alberta SuperRun Association is hosting the celebration of cars, culture and music of the ’50s, ’60s and’ 70s July 30 through August 2.
The four-day event is expected to give Red Deer a taste of the film classic America Graffiti, with its classics and muscle cars, hula hoops and jive dances.
About 15 vehicles — including a Model A two-door sedan and a 1970 Mustang — were on display during Tuesday’s promotion at Queen’s Diner in Burnt Lake Business Park.
Six car clubs from Calgary, Edmonton and Red Deer host Rock ’n Red Deer every three years since 1997, when just over 800 people registered for it.
Association president Dick Wallace of Calgary anticipates more than 800 owners of classic cars, hot rods and customs will register from across Western Canada and Northwestern United States.
Currently, 543 have pre-registered.
Wallace drove up in a 1955 Thunderbird.
“For most of us, it’s a desire to hang onto our youth,” he said. “There’s that testosterone rush of a 16-year-old youth, who wants to drive right away. That’s always the way it’s been.”
Donna McCrimmon of Red Deer showed off a 1951 Pontiac next to her husband’s 1935 Plymouth.
“We bought the (1951 car) a year ago and have redone it all,” she said. “We can put our grandkids in it.”
• On Thursday July 30, a welcome party will be held at A&W Restaurant in Gasoline Alley. Dr. D, a Calgary deejay who is also the Canadian voice of monster truck racing, will be on hand for the party from 6-11 p.m. Everyone is invited to attend.
Other activities planned:
• Friday July 31 — Registration will be held all day at Westerner Day.
Downtown Business Association hosts Downtown Cruise Night, 6-10 p.m.
The event runs from 6-10 p.m. Hundreds of cars will strut their chrome, polished paint jobs and rumbling mufflers. Visitors will see poodle skirts, Betty Boop, hula hoops, ducktail haircuts and the music of the era. Gaetz Avenue between Ross and 49th Streets will be closed to traffic. Bobby Cash and Friends will give tributes to some of the greats including Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley.
Registrants will later enjoy a drive-in movie night at Westerner Park. Old vintage black-and-white hotrod movies will play.
• Saturday Aug. 1 and Sunday Aug. 2 — public display of vehicles at Westerner Park from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Cost is $8 gate admission, children 12 and under get in free. Buddy and Buttons clown show at 11 a.m. each day for children.
Hoola hoop contests will take place.
Muffler rapping contests will entertain the crowds, too.
“They can rev their engines up and when you let your foot off the accelerator, the mufflers will crackle and pop,” Wallace said. “The crowd will vote on the best sound.”
The two bands, The Classics and Crossfire, will revive the sounds of The Beach Boys, The Beatles and others.
• Saturday Aug. 1 — sock-hop banquet and dance featuring The Timebenders show band. Registrants and guests only. Limited number of tickets for general admission.
Rock ‘n Red Deer will give a donation to air ambulance service STARS at the end of the show
For more information, go online at www.rocknreddeer.com