THE CITY OF CAIRO’S very first fire engine lead the parade Friday night.
Organizers of the 31st annual Great Southern Antique Car Rally held here last weekend are describing the rally as a big hit as well as a boost to the local economy.
This year’s rally featured 113 registered participants and Cairo-Grady County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Trey Gainous said the weekend went “exceptionally well” considering the potential and eventual rain.
“The community support was wonderful. I never realized what the car rally meant to our wonderful little town, and now I have a far bigger appreciation for it! The 32nd annual rally should be even better,” Gainous said.
Hobson Chevrolet was this year’s lead sponsor and according to Gainous, “From day one, Bob (Hobson) called almost every day to make sure the chamber had everything needed to make the car rally a success.”
“It’s good to have companies like Hobson Chevrolet that believe that community support is priority number one,” Gainous added.
Gainous also thanked all of the other sponsors who supported the event through contributions and purchasing advertising sponsorships in the rally magazine. “A huge thank you to all of our sponsors and supporters,” he said.
Serving on the car rally planning committee this year were Wayne Hadden, Brian Hayes, Trent Stewart, Bob Hobson, Austin Hobson, and Michael Best. Chamber Ambassadors Brandie Cecil, Katie Williams, Allie Gainous, Teresa Norton, Annette Higdon, Sarah Harrison, Ann McCaughan, Brandy Bradley, Candice Williams, Barbara Darus, Holli Allen, Linda Drew Johnson, and Jane Trulock were also instrumental in the planning and organizing of the rally, Gainous said.
The chamber executive director also thanked Grady County Joint Development Authority Executive Director Julian Brown and the chamber’s assistant director, Courtney Salapa King, for their service above and beyond the call of duty.
Gainous said that heavy rains Friday dissipated by 8 p.m. when the gaslight parade got underway, but he fears that the weather had an impact on the crowd for the parade and street dance.
“Jon Bellamy and the Rebels put on a fantastic show. I wish more people could have been there to enjoy it. Hopefully, we will get them back here to play again soon,” Gainous said.
Another highlight of this year’s rally was a tie between two local residents for one of the top prizes given away. Gainous reports that Tim Schafer and Tommy Butler tied for Best Overall Car in this year’s rally.
“We are already looking forward to next year and beginning to plan how we can make this event even bigger and better. Thanks for everyone who was involved and participated. It was truly great fun!” Gainous said.