Thank you Stark County!

June 8, 2002 was no surprise.  Stark County has consistently shown that they can work together to put on a multi-community event better than anybody else.  The Hall of Fame Festival, the Ohio High School Football State Championships and now the Lincoln Highway / Stark County Cruise. 

Each car show started at 10 AM but volunteers rose early to prepare food, set up stands, and go over the final logistics.  Each of the five locations was a beehive of activity as the dew was still burning off leading in to a perfect warm and clear day.

The purpose of this cruise was to visit each of the five car shows, pick up a one piece of a five-part dash plaque, and meet car enthusiasts from different parts of the county.  It was also a perfect time to cruise the old Lincoln Highway. (right inset)

My day began as the Massillon Museum celebrated it's Silver Anniversary car show in the shade of the park downtown in a beautiful setting; Massillon has developed a very pretty downtown.  Entrants swapped car tips and moved eastward to a first year event in Perry Township. 

The Perry car show was a bit unusual as it was hosted by a new community group of citizens whose worthy goal it is to revitalize their section of the Lincoln Highway.  Waikem Ford provided the location, and was very significant in providing publicity to all shows.  A lot of effort was put into this event by the citizens and Waikem and it did not go unnoticed.

My next stop was at the 7th Canton Classic Car Museum/Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce car show at Central Plaza in Canton, which I don't believe ever looked more beautiful.  We thank the City of Canton for closing off Market Avenue north for three blocks and the side streets one block east and west!  The setting was immaculate.  As was the case in all locations, music and and the smell of food filled the air, but the echo of the muscle cars was particular exciting in the hollows downtown.

I knew I was onto something as I approached the show in East Canton.  While the car show was scheduled for Nicoles Restaurant, the classic cars filled adjoining parking lots on both sides of the road for two blocks before the actual location.  Nicoles, with it's 50's style atmosphere was a natural for such an event, and it's front parking lot was not used for cars, but was used as a stage for the events.  It was here I first saw the Soul Brothers who had just been escorted out of town in their old black and white by the Canton Police.  They worked so hard in that parking lot as I sat in the air conditioning and ate some of Rick's broasted chicken and potatoes.

Several hours into the event, some were getting a bit tired.

Continuing east, cars were leaving the new route 30 and exploring the original remnants of the Lincoln Highway.  It was particularly exciting to see cars from the 1910's traveling that beautiful three mile section of brick Baywood outside of Robertsville, where there were so many classic cars at times that the residents sat on the lawn to watch them go by.

This 1904 beauty was restored by the Timken Company, and is on loan to the Canton Classic Car Museum.

The final stop was at the business of Eastern Ohio Lincoln Highway League President Tom Kishman.  Kishman's IGA was throwing it's 18th show and it only gets better each year. 27 trophies were presented and this event has a great amount of hometown support.  It was here where I caught up to the 2002 Hall of Fame Queen and her court who despite having visited each car show still had the energy to do a Temptaions number with the band.  These pretty 20 year olds have obviously studied the Motown choreography from the 60's.

The Dancing Queen, Nicole Catazaro and her court.

Then it was back to Central Plaza still going strong until 8:30.  Canton was on the third band by then and those of us who'd been to all events for the duration of the day could do not much more than smile.  The officers of the East Ohio Lincoln Highway League gathered as the sun sat discussing "What can we do to make this better next year?"  They heard a lot of good suggestions from the crowd and will most certainly incorporate them.

I've never seen so many people giving so much and expecting so little in return.  It was for the community, and we thank you.

Canton and Stark County Convention and Visitors Bureau
Canton Classic Car Museum
Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce
Canton Systems Design
Downtown Canton Special Improvement District, Inc.
First Merit Bank
Freddy the Frog
Glenmoor Country Club
Innis Maggorie Group
Key Bank
Kishmans IGA
Massillon Museum
McKinley Grand Hotel
Nicole's Family Restaurant
Nickle's Bakery
Ohio Lincoln Highway League
Ohio State Highway Patrol
Perry Dare Program
Perry Township Committee to Revitalize Lincoln Way
Perry Township, the Police and Emergency Departments
Reedís Towing Inc.
Stark County Dare Program
The City of Canton, the Police and Emergency Departments
The City of Massillon, the Police and Emergency Departments
The Detroit Historical Museum
The Pro Football Hall of Fame Festival
The Repository
The Village of East Canton, the Police and Emergency Departments
The Village of Minerva, the Police and Emergency Departments
Waikem Ford
WHBC AM 1480

. . . and finally, Mother Nature for her cooperation.