Sunday, September 26, 2010

Fall Festival and Antique Cars

This weekend we enjoyed some of the activities of Pinetop-Lakeside's annual Fall Festival.  It's the most popular festival in our area, and for 3 or 4 days our population basically doubles in size.  It's also our community's last opportunity to profit from the tourist trade until ski season begins, about 2 months from now.  We are a "resort town," after all.

I had parent-teacher conferences on Thursday night, so we weren't able to attend the big talent show that traditionally kicks off the weekend.  Our first event was Friday afternoon, when we drove out to the highway to watch the "Cavalcade of Cars" go by. 

One of Fall Festival's main events is the nationally-renowned Run to the Pines car show, which features 400 antique cars.  On Friday the owners line up and drive their cars along the highway from Show Low to Hon-Dah, the convention center on the Apache reservation just south of Pinetop.  That's about a 20-mile drive.  Residents and tourists line the highway to watch them go by, waving and cheering while the kids collect candy tossed to them by the drivers.

Jacob, Dylan, and Eric at breakfast; outside the window, an antique car is parked and the parade is just beginning.

On Saturday morning we took Jacob, Dylan, and Dylan's friend Eric out to breakfast with us just before the Fall Festival parade began.  After breakfast we went outside the restaurant to enjoy the rest of the parade. 

Dylan and Eric watch the parade from the curb, keeping an eye out for tossed candy!

Small town parades are fun, but they are definitely low-key and low-tech.  The "floats" are often decorated cars and such.  Half of the parade is made up of fire engines, marching bands, and farm machinery.  There are no shoulder-to-shoulder, standing-room-only crowds.  Plenty of room to plop down your camp chairs or stretch out on the curb, like my kids prefer to do.

There are many different shows to attend during the festival: quilting shows, antique shows, Christmas decoration shows, you name it.  My personal favorite is the arts and crafts show.  I've purchased many nice things there over the years.  The most famous, though, is the Run to the Pines car show.

Ed stands among the classic Mustangs.

Ed had heard of the Run to the Pines car show before he moved here, but he hadn't realized this was where it happened each year.  Yesterday we spent 2 hours wandering among 400 classic and antique vehicles, and Ed was in seventh heaven.  His favorites are the classic muscle cars of the sixties and early seventies (the latest model allowed in the show is 1972).  However, he was extremely knowledgeable about every vehicle on the show-grounds, including the antique cars I prefer from the twenties, thirties, forties, and even fifties.

We spent a lot of time visiting with car owners while Ed talked shop with them.  (Remember, he's a retired mechanic.)  He was excited to finally meet our neighbors, Bob and Ona, who had two cars in the show.  Ed admires their antique cars and Bob's workshop every time we drive past their house on the corner.  They invited him to stop by any time! 

We left the car show sunburned but happy.  Ed often tells people how much he loves living in the White Mountains.  Now he has one more reason to love it!

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