Mabel turns the clock back for '50s & '60s event this weekend

Mabel's '50's and '60's Day traditionally draws a large crowd to view the classic cars, enjoy some good food and visit with neighbors. BLUFF COUNTRY NEWSPAPER GROUP FILE PHOTO
By : 
Bluff Country Newspaper Group

Elvis, Buddy Holly, Jan and Dean, Little Deuce Coupes, T-Birds, Mustangs, GTOs, and many more will all come alive Saturday, Aug. 11, when Mabel hosts its 19th annual ‘50s and ‘60s Day. The event draws hundreds of people and more than 100 classic, antique and vintage vehicles.

Downtown Mabel will be filled with automotive eye candy, with the vehicles lined up and on display along a four-block area. The proud owners of the beautiful vehicles will also be there, telling the history of their ride and talking shop and reminiscing about the golden age of transportation.

Registration for the classic car show begins at 8 a.m. and runs until 11, when the participant voting begins. There are 14 different classes for cars and two classes for trucks. Trophies for the various classes will be awarded at 2:30. The entry fee for the car show is $10.

Other events

Besides the car show, there are many other events scheduled for the day.

According to Judy Vickerman, a motorcycle display has been added this year. While there is no registration or judging, Vickerman and the ‘50s and ‘60s Day committee members are encouraging everyone to shine up their two- and three-wheel rides and proudly display them right along with the antique and classic cars and trucks.

A semi truck display will be held in the downtown parking lot featuring various types of semi tractors. The display will be held from mid-morning until mid-afternoon.

The fourth annual Run From the Sun Run/Walk will be held Saturday morning. Registration for the 5k/10k run/walk will begin at 7:30 a.m. at the Mabel Area Community Center. Races will begin at 9 a.m. Cancer screening and face painting will be part of that event.

A food stand, sponsored by the ‘50s and ‘60s committee, will be held at the Mabel Legion Hall from 8 a.m. until 3:30 p.m.  The ‘50s and ‘60s committee will also be selling T-shirts at the Legion, sizes X-small to XXXXL. “We’ve got three new colors this year, so folks need to check them out,” Vickerman noted.

The Mabel Lions Club will hold a pancake breakfast at the community center from 7 to 10:30 a.m. The local service club will also be offering free eye screening.

Chris Von Arx will be playing live music beginning at 1 p.m. downtown.

A beanbag tournament will be held behind Mabel Liquor, beginning around noon.

Persons can sign up for the Run ‘Til It’s Done contest. For $1, folks can predict how long a car will continue running after the oil and coolant have been removed from the engine. Last year’s contest drew dozens of “predictors” and a large crowd of spectators.

Tickets for a quilt raffle can be purchased throughout the day, with the drawing scheduled during the car show trophy presentation.

Some history

Nearly two decades ago Roger Torgerud had a number of classic cars that he parked in front of his restaurant in downtown Mabel, called “Cruisers.” The cars served as a drawing card to the restaurant and provided Torgerud a means to “talk cars” with folks. A number of downtown business people decided to develop the ‘50s and ‘60s theme. Terry and Jean Ingvalson started painting life-sized depictions of Elvis, Marilyn Monroe and other characters from the past. Cheryl Aberg and Eileen Peterson also got on board and talked to Torgerud about hosting a car show.

Like any new community event, it took a few years for Mabel’s ‘50s and ‘60s Day to take off. A committee was formed and additional persons brought in to the efforts. The committee now meets monthly and holds a fund-raising soup dinner in January.

Money raised by the committee has been donated back to the community, including donations to the Mabel-Canton High School post prom event, the Mabel Ambulance Association and the Henrytown church building fund, to name a few.

“We raise money for our event through sponsorships from many local businesses and individuals. We really appreciate the continued support year after year, Vickerman explained.

“We look forward to a beautiful weekend with the streets filled with cars and spectators. ‘50s and ‘60s Day is an event the committee enjoys planning to draw people to our town,” Vickerman continued. “Mabel is a community that always comes together to make all events a success. We are always looking for new members to join our group. Plan to attend a meeting, which is usually held the first Thursday evening of the month at 7 p.m. at the Mabel Legion.”