Oak Creek celebrates pit stop with locals' car show

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Steamboat Springs and Oak Creek roll out the red carpet Monday for the 94 vintage cars coming to the towns as part of the 22nd annual Great Race, a vintage car rally that travels from Florida to California during two weeks.

This is the first time since 1988 that the Great Race has come through Steamboat, said Mike Ewing, a spokesman for the Great Race.

To celebrate, Oak Creek is having a local car show of its own as well as music and food Monday.

"The theme is 'Take a Monday break,'" said Kathy "Cargo" Rodeman, Oak Creek's mayor. "We're even going to close Town Hall, so people can go watch the cars."

Oak Creek's local car show begins at 1 p.m., and anyone with a classic car can park it near Decker Park.

"The idea is that a lot of local people have really interesting cars, and they never get to show them off to each other," said Bob Baker, the car-show organizer.

Among the 30 entries he has received so far is a 1958 Jaguar, a Model A Ford and a 1950s Porsche.

"This will give people a chance to meet each other and chitchat about cars," he said.

The Great Race cars roll into Oak Creek starting at 3 p.m., and each car will stay there on display for a half-hour, Rodeman said.

Then the cars continue onto Steamboat. Organizers expect the first cars to arrive at 5:30 p.m.

The first five finishers will receive the book "Steamboat Springs Legends: A Centennial Collection," by Deborah Olsen, as a gift from the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association. The drivers will display their cars from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Lincoln Avenue, which will be closed to traffic during that time.

Riley Polumbus, spokeswoman for the chamber, said the best host city in the Great Race wins money for its library.

"So we hope everyone will come out and welcome all the cars to Steamboat," Polumbus said.

-- Kristin Bjornsen

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