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- June 2009
The Sturgis Camaro Rally is Revving Up
Written By: Emily Pogue, Photography By: Fotomotive
There are never enough days in the year to celebrate all of the things you love most. One birthday, one day to celebrate your parents, one National Nacho Day, and one day to nationally observe our freedom. However, for those people in the world who are Chevy Camaro aficionados, consider yourself among the lucky. Honoring this classic automobile for their 9th year, Sturgis Camaro Rally spreads all of the entertainment, fan-fare, and prizes over a 4-day celebration.
Since the fall of ‘66, car enthusiasts around the world have been enamored with the style, mechanics, and dynamic ability of the Chevy Camaro. In order to honor this incredible automotive classic, the Sturgis Camaro Rally has offered up some fun for the whole family. Whether you’re an owner, a fan, or just curious what makes this car so extraordinary, the organizers have planned some thrilling, relaxing, and visually pleasing events that will run from June 27th through the 30th.
Cars, drivers, and guests can get registered either online or in person for one of two packages to both show off and compete for prizes in various events. Those who register their cars online before May 1st will be entered into a drawing for a $1,500 Rockford Fosgate sound system. And as far as prizes for the events, that is just the tip of the iceberg. There will be awards in many events including the Show & Shine, drag race, and autocross to name a few. A banquet will be held on Saturday night where the winners will stake their claim.
Beginning on Thursday with registration, there are also poker runs and guided fun runs that will be available throughout the weekend and wind through the majestic Black Hills. A mixer and pub crawl will allow rally-goers to get out and socialize with other Camaro enthusiasts. Thursday night will end with additional entertainment after the pub crawl.
Friday’s schedule starts out with a ride to show appreciation to our veterans. The first 120 registered Z28 owners will make their way to Fort Meade Veterans Hospital where they will show off their cars for the brave veterans who receive care there.
While the Camaro is built to go fast and powerfully into the night, it takes an agile driver to handle the car with finesse. Throughout the day Friday, there will be plenty of opportunities to try out your car handling and driver skills in the autocross competition. And for a few extra dollars, you can also enter into the drag races that are being held at Sturgis Dragway.
Rounding out Friday’s events is an opportunity for participants and their guests to join the Camaro Rally Slot tournament in Deadwood. There will be a happy hour to follow.
Every good morning starts with a delicious breakfast and Saturday’s breakfast will be a free will offering at the Senior Center. Spare a few dollars in support and enjoy pancakes, sausage, biscuits and gravy, juice, and coffee. Then find your way downtown for the day’s spectacular events.
The big event on Saturday is the Show & Shine and thousands of people will come to see beautiful cars lined up for viewing. From 8-11AM there will be registration, parking and photos. Spectators can come down and take in all the beauty that is offered from these fine automobiles from 11AM-2:30PM. With the whole Main Street of Sturgis closed down, delicious food at local eateries, and nearly 500 cars representing the last five decades, the Show & Shine on Saturday is definitely the "don’t miss" event of the rally. Make sure you stick around for the Loud Pipes contest that follows the Show & Shine as cars exit.
The banquet, held on Saturday night, will feature awards given for each of the competitions and promises to attend next year’s event will be made between friends.
Poker runs continue on Sunday and group photos will be taken.
This event is part business and part pleasure for Jerry Cole, Rally and Events Director with the City of Sturgis. Finding himself fresh out of college with his first real job, he remembers buying a brand new ‘79 Camaro off the lot.
“I had it for about 2 ½ years," he reminisces. “I realized that my lifestyle, being a mountain climber, you couldn’t go on the backroads with a Camaro. I traded it in for a 4-wheel drive pickup.”
While it was a brief courtship, his love for the Camaro continues to this day. You’ll likely see his face among the crowds of people.
To make this event happen, there is a lot of planning and careful considerations. For the first seven years of the rally, the Black Hills Camaro Club organized the event. Last year, organization of the rally was turned over to the City of Sturgis with hopes of combining forces to continue bringing this amazing event to Sturgis each year. A team of people, including Cole, and committee members of the Black Hills Camaro Club, meet throughout the year to plan and discuss.
And it’s very satisfying when that hard work pays off in the dividends that participants and spectators will receive when they attend the 9th Annual Sturgis Camaro Rally.
For more information on the Camaro Rally events, accommodations, or to register, please visit www.sturgiscamaro.com.