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Second annual car show and cruise to honor heroes

September 11, 2021 marks the 20-year anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attack on the United States, and a group of local business owners and car enthusiasts are marking the day of remembrance by hosting the second annual Kicks on 66 Car Show & Cruise.

The event, hosted this year at On the Hill Golf Course & Lounge at the American Legion Post 199 in Edwardsville, will showcase hundreds of original, restored and new vehicles of all makes and models and serve as day-long celebration and memorial for veterans and first responders. The show and cruise are also in memory of Randy Gori, a local attorney, community leader and car collector who was tragically killed in January 2020 and the genesis for last year’s inaugural event.

“Our goal with this year’s show and cruise was to create an event that draws people in because it has something that appeals to everyone,” said Ryan O’Day, a local restaurateur and president of Route 66 Kicks, Inc., the non-profit organization planning the event. “We have invited and welcome vehicles of all kinds, including motorcycles. We think that appeals to collectors and fans at all levels. Our partnerships with the American Legion and two charity partners, as well as our collaboration with local fire departments, are designed to help the community support, honor and remember our American heroes that sacrifice so much for others.  And our close relationship with local businesses helps create economic impact for dozens of small-business owners in the area. It’s a win-win-win-win.”

Attendees will enjoy an estimated 500 cars, motorcycles and other vehicles displayed on the grass of the nine-hole golf course located at the American Legion Post 199 in Edwardsville. The show field includes original, restored, custom and new vehicles ranging from exotic brands like Ferrari, Lamborghini and Aston Martin, Pebble Beach worthy classics, hot rods, resto-mods, sports cars, race cars, Corvettes, American muscle cars, luxury, trucks, and motorcycles.

Notable vehicles registered thus far include a 1923 T-bucket hot rod, 1929 Cadillac town car, Corvettes of all series and a Lamborghini Countach. More than 30 car clubs from around the area are also registered to showcase vehicles. The list of car clubs registered to bring vehicles includes the Classic Car Club of America, Ferrari Club of America, the Ford GT Forum, the Gateway Miata Club, Mustang Club of America, National Street Rod Association, Outcast Car Club and the Porsche Club of America.

To close the show, field entrants will exit the golf course for a planned cruise on Route 66, creating a parade of vehicles for spectators along the historic Mother Road to enjoy.

“Our vision is to create an event that celebrates the diverse range of motoring spanning all eras and interests.  This is then combined  with the American pastime of cruising along one of this country’s most storied roadways, Route 66,” said Jeff Kennedy,  chair of the show field planning committee. “We’re well on our way to our goal of nearly doubling the number of vehicles in this year’s show. Whether you love modern-day and classic exotics, muscle cars and hotrods, vintage and custom cruisers or the latest new vehicles available at your local dealership, you will find something on display that appeals to you on the golf course. Ending the show with a cruise of show entrants on Route 66, we believe, is a perfect way to also integrate with local small-business owners, many of whom are also hosting ‘pit stops’ for car club meetups and other activities for the public in their parking lots.”

The car show on the golf course at the American Legion in Edwardsville opens to the public at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 11, and runs until 2 p.m. Following the show, vehicles entered in the show will exit the golf course directly across from Woodland Elementary School, turning left (Southwest) on to Route 66 commencing the three-mile cruise portion of the day’s events. The cruise ends at Hotshots Sports Bar & Grill located at 2511 Illinois 157 in Edwardsville.

Local businesses also plan parking lot “pit stops” along the route inviting participants and spectators to enjoy activities open to the public.

Honoring American heroes during the car show

Activities planned for the car show include a one-hour 9/11 Memorial Ceremony at noon.  The ceremony, presented by the Edwardsville and Glen Carbon fire departments and sponsored by MidAmerica Chevrolet Dealers, will feature dozens of local firefighters and other first responders, serve as a memorial for those that have lost their lives in the line of duty and also thank those that protect the community every day. The one-hour ceremony will also include a flag retirement presented by the Boy Scouts and recognize The BackStoppers® and Got Your Six Support Dogs, this year’s event charity partners that are dedicated to giving back to veterans and first responders.

The BackStoppers provides ongoing needed financial assistance and support to the spouses and dependent children of area police officers, firefighters and volunteer firefighters, and publicly-funded paramedics and EMTs who have lost their lives in the line of duty. BackStoppers also provides assistance to first responders who suffer a catastrophic injury performing their duty.

Got Your Six Support Dogs is committed to providing specialized service dogs to veterans and first responders suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and/or sexual trauma, helping these men and women regain their lives through the healing power of dogs. The organization trains service dogs and then matches them with lifelong owners, as well as trains therapy dogs to serve local area residents in nursing homes, hospitals, schools, etc.

More information about the 2021 Kicks on 66 Car Show & Cruise is available at www.kickson66.org.  There is no fee to register and display a vehicle on the show field.  Collectors interested in entering a vehicle are encouraged to register in advance on the website, but vehicles can be registered at the event.  Spectators can purchase tickets online in advance of the show for $10 per adult.  Tickets for children under 12 and veterans and first responders are free.  Tickets can also be purchase at the show on Sept. 11, 2021.  Food and beverages will be available from a variety of different vendors.

Organizers are also partnering to host a pre-party on Friday, Sept. 10 and working with other communities to encourage show and cruise registrants to spend the weekend in the area.

On Friday, Sept. 10, EXO Lounge in Edwardsville will host the Motor Ball beginning at 7 p.m.  The event will include food, beverages and live music.  More information is available at www.kickson66.org.

On Sept. 11, after the show and cruise conclude, head north on Route 66 to the town of Worden. The village is hosting its eighth Patriot’s Day, an event that honors those that serve their local communities. Live music begins at 5 p.m. and fireworks are scheduled for 9:15 p.m. Other activities include a flag retirement ceremony and barbecue sales throughout the day. For more information, visit the Village of Worden page on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/village.of.worden).

PHOTO courtesy of Paz Images

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