More than 120 cars, trucks, motorcycles and tractors braved the oppressive heat and occasional threat of storms Thursday for the 12th annual Carmi Lions Club Auto Show. Hundreds turned out to fancy each other’s classic and modern machine marvels. Don Ridenour, longtime Carmi Lions Club member and owner at Don’s Bumper to Bumper has been the driving force behind the event since its inception. While the cars, trucks, tractors and bikes are the main appeal, he says there’s plenty more for folks to enjoy. “The Rotary had fish. The Caveman has Barbecue Chicken items and the Lions Club is serving pulled pork and smoked tenderloin sandwiches. We’ve got vendors inside the floral hall and outside. People with baked goods…the American Legion is in there. Greg Leggett and his Hot Wheels collection. The Hair Bow Factory and lots more. Yeah, we’ve got live music. The Appetizers were on the stage, as was Payton Dale, and Luke Nelson.”
Planning for the event starts a long time before the first vehicle ever pulls into the parking lot, according to Ridenour. “I spend the month of June with flyers going to all kinds of car shows and I’ve had Kendall and Payton Dale helping me this year. Plus, we’ve sent out about 400 post cards.” And it paid off as hundreds of folks converged on the White County Fairgrounds and travelled from quite a ways in some instances. “Eldorado, Marion, KY, Henderson, KY, Olney, Newburgh, Evansville, we’ve got the Ace of Clubs, the Mustang Mafia, a really good group.” It also helps the Carmi Lions Club event makes sure a lot of folks go home with trophies and that comes back to community support. A total of 62 sponsors equals 62 trophies are given out in a variety of categories and celebrity choice picks.
About a dozen vendors showed up to sell their crafts, creations and wares. Among them, former business owner and Carmi Citizen of the Year Barb Kearney along with her daughter, Tisa Gallup. Kearney is a basket maker and Gallup hand crafts some wood cutting boards, trivets, and wall décor that are high end store quality. Kearney said, “There’s been a great crowd, happy to see everybody and we’ve just had a wonderful time so far visiting with everybody. All my baskets are hand made. Tisa’s goods are all made on her back porch by her own hand; locally grown, sustainable and replenishable woods. She uses a variety…walnut, oak, hickory and this one here even has some mahogany in it.” And if you’d like to check out their work…”I’m on facebook as is Tisa, you can find her at ‘Tisa’s Foolish Fancies”.
Events like the Carmi Lions Club Car, Truck, and Motorcycle Show are what keep a small community moving forward. Carmi’s Fireworks Display, along with numerous others around the Tri State took place last night around 9pm.
See photos from the event at