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the chamber May 14
By the end of next week, many vehicles cruising Cairo and Grady County roads will be from another era as the chamber of commerce hosts the 26th Annual Great Southern Antique Car Rally. There are some new activities being added to this year’s event, including arts and crafts vendors, while much of the schedule will seem very familiar.
Cairo’s Pizza Hut is supporting the rally with a special 20 percent off offer for anyone who has one of the special coupons printed in this newspaper, or available at the chamber office on North Broad Street. The coupon is good all day on Saturday, May 14, 2016 only. Vouchers must accompany all orders for dine-in and carryout. Customers ordering online may use the online code 1035 at checkout. A portion of all orders placed that use the voucher on Saturday will go to the Cairo-Grady County Chamber of Commerce.
The car rally will pick up steam by next Friday, when the antique cars and trucks roll into town. As of early this week, 100 participants had already registered, and more are expected to join by the actual event.
The public festivities begin around 8 p.m. Friday, May 13, with the annual Gaslight Parade of the antique cars on North Broad Street. In addition to the officially registered participants in the rally, any vehicle 25 years or older may participate in the parade by lining up at the Grady Cultural Center by 7:45 p.m., says Jenny Law, chamber executive vice president.
Following the parade is a Street Dance, which will include live music and activities for children. This event will take place at Grady Cultural Center.
On Saturday morning, May 14, participating antique vehicles will take a sight-seeing ride around the county as part of a traditional “Poker Rally,” getting playing cards at multiple stops along with 40-50 mile trek. The driver with the best hand at the end of the drive will win a prize.
The antique vehicles will then set up at downtown Cairo’s Davis Park for the public to enjoy throughout the afternoon with prizes given to best entries around 2:30 p.m.
In addition to the antique autos, arts and crafts vendors will be on hand selling their wares. As of Wednesday morning this week, 15 exhibitors had already paid the $35 registration fee for their 18’ x 20’ space in the parking lot adjacent to the park. They will be ready to serve customers by 8:30 a.m. Saturday.
In addition, there are two food vendors scheduled to be on hand to keep the public nourished.
Children will also have entertaining options at Davis Park from a bouncy house to face painting.
There will also be an opportunity for one lucky person to win a cash prize as the chamber is holding a 50/50 raffle. Tickets are $1 each, and the winner will split the pot with the chamber. Ms. Law says last year’s winner took home about $450.
A special event will take place Friday evening with a tribute to the late Ben Celaya, an early supporter of the car rally who was involved in organizing the Poker Rally. Celaya was a resident of Magnolia Place when he passed away earlier this year. In tribute to him, registered antique autos will drive by Magnolia Place Friday evening.
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