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The 31st edition of the Great Southern Antique Car Rally is this weekend, so if you see a number of Chevy Chevelles around town don’t be surprised.
There are a couple of surprises in store, according to Cairo-Grady County Chamber of Commerce executive director, Trey Gainous.
Gainous says the rally will continue to feature a lot of the traditions of past rallies, but this year a new band will perform at the street dance and the dance is moving back to Broad Street.
In fact, the street dance is moving “uptown” and will be held in front of the Zebulon Theater and Grady County Courthouse. When the rally first began, the street dance was held on South Broad Street in the central business district before migrating to the confines of the Grady Cultural Center.
Gainous said he hopes that hosting the street dance once again on Broad Street and having a different band will attract a larger crowd than in recent years.
Jon Bellamy and the Rebels are the featured entertainers Friday night. The band includes Grady County men Thad LeGette and Julian Brown along with Adam Reichart and Jon Bellamy.
The weekend of fun kicks off with registration at the Grady Cultural Center from 4 p.m. until 6 p.m. At 6:30 p.m., a barbecue dinner will be served to all of the rally participants at the GCC.
At approximately 8 p.m., the popular gas light parade will pass up and down Broad Street where a first look at all of the antique, vintage and featured vehicles will take place.
The dance will begin immediately following the parade.
North Broad Street will be blocked for the dance from just north of the intersection of First Avenue N.E. to just south of Third Avenue. Motorists will be able to turn left from First Avenue or turn and go north on Third Avenue, according to Gainous.
Another special feature for those who are not hankering to dance the night away is special showings at 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. of the movie “Gator” starring Burt Reynolds at the Zebulon. According to Gainous, the Zebulon will also have a 2 p.m. matinee showing of “American Graffiti” on Saturday. Admission to the movies is free with proof of rally registration or a receipt for a meal purchased at a local restaurant, according to Gainous.
The registration booth will reopen Saturday from 8 a.m. until 9 a.m. at the GCC, and at 8 a.m. the Cairo Kiwanis Club will treat participants to a hot breakfast, also at the GCC.
Antique autos not participating in the poker rally will go on display at Davis Park beginning at 10 a.m. and by noon all rally vehicles will be on display at the downtown Cairo park.
The 2019 porker rally includes a scenic tour of Grady County and features a pit stop at Pope’s Museum in north Grady County.
The route that organizers have planned and as advertised is: “Leave the Grady Cultural Center and travel up 3rd Ave to traffic light at North Broad Street. Turn left on North Broad Street and travel .5 mile to the traffic light at U.S. Hwy 84, continue straight .7 mile then turn right onto Longbranch Road and poke .7 miles to Hwy 188. Turn left onto Hwy 188 North, drive .3 mile and turn left onto Woodland Road, scoot along 3.3 miles to Elkins Road. Turn left on Elkins Road (Elkins Road changes to Mathis Road) cruise 3 miles to Hwy 188. Turn left on Hwy 188 and travel 3.4 miles to Maddox Road. Turn left on Maddox Road traveling on another 1.2 miles to the first paved cross road. This will be Dollar Store Road. Turn left on Dollar Store Road (it turns into Popes Store Rd at Barnetts Creek) and cruise for 3.2 miles to 192 Popes Store Road and Popes Museum will be on the left. Stop, take a break, and enjoy the museum! Leaving Popes Museum turn left on Popes Store Road and scoot .1 mile to stop sign at GA 111 N. Turn right on GA 111 N and run .9 miles then, turn left onto Spence Road and putt .8 mile to Noles Road. Turn left on Noles Road and travel 1.8 miles to stop sign at Gilliard Road. Turn left on Gilliard Road and scoot along .9 mile to stop sign at GA 93. Turn left on GA 93 and go 1.8 miles to Pine Level Road. Turn right on Pine Level Road and poke along 3 miles to stop sign at GA 112 N. Turn right on GA 112 N and dash .4 mile to Peebles Still Road. Turn left on Peebles Still Road and travel 6.1 miles to stop sign at Open Pond Road. Cross Open Pond Road and continue straight for another 3 miles to stop sign at Old Eighty-Four. Turn left on Old Eighty-Four and zoom along 2.7 miles to stop sign at US Hwy 84. Turn left on US Hwy 84 and cruise 4.2 miles into the City of Cairo to 1st traffic light. Turn right onto North Broad Street and go .3 mile to 1st traffic light at 3rd Avenue. Turn left on 3rd Avenue and dash into Davis Park.”
The chamber board of directors will host a hamburger cookout for participants at Davis Park beginning at noon and prizes and cash awards will be presented to lucky winners at 2 p.m.
Hobson Chevrolet is the featured sponsor of this year’s rally and a number of 1964-1972 Chevy Chevelle SS cars are expected to be showcased this weekend. Koyo is sponsoring this year’s street dance, according to Gainous.
“We are trying to get people to stay downtown, visit our local businesses and eat at our local restaurants and just enjoy Cairo all weekend. Come out and enjoy the weekend and show our guests a warm Grady County welcome!” Gainous said.