Rods ’n Rhodies ‘shapes up’ for fun with new & classic features

Sept. 12, 2018 — Historic Old Town Florence was the site for fun in the sun from Sept. 7 to 9 for the 11th annual Rods ’n Rhodies weekend. In addition to the classic car invitational, people took to the streets for Boy Scout Troop 721’s Pinewood Derby and a flash mob by area Zumba dancers.

For the first time, the Florence Area Chamber of Commerce’s Rods ’n Rhodies and Community-wide Garage Sale weekend included a flash mob set to “You’re the One that I Want” from the musical “Grease.” The lyrics include the line “you better shape up” — and the event certainly did! Long a favorite with out-of-town guests, the invitational car show brought in more than 100 classic cruisers and hot rods to line Bay Street and parts of Old Town.

Around town, people and businesses hosted garage and yard sales for the sixth annual Community-wide Garage Sale. This event is often a draw for both locals and guests as people searched out precious antiques, valuable collectables and major deals from their neighbors.

Back on Bay Street, DJ Russ Strohmeyer played pop and rock hits from the 1950s to the ’70s for the estimated thousand people who viewed the cars.

The event had 40 awards sponsored by area businesses (see results here).  The 2018 Rods ’n Rhodies Invitational Best of Show went to Dan & Connie Kimball’s red 1933 Ford 3-Window Coupe.  The flashy red car also won “The Tony” award, sponsored by Friends of Tony Androsky, a car enthusiast who passed away in the last year.

“It’s a real honor to accept this award. We all lost a good friend, a colleague, a street rodder. ... It is with heartfelt feelings that I had the opportunity to know this gentleman, and it’s a wonderful feeling to accept this award,” Dan said.

The People’s Choice Award went to Craig Spotts’ orange 1937 Ford Tudor, with matching trailer. Spotts, whose birthday it was, said he was thrilled to win the popular vote. He also won the “1285 Special” award, sponsored by 1285 Restobar.

During the awards ceremony on Sunday, Chamber President Russ Pierson thanked the sponsors, volunteers, car owners and visitors for helping make the event a success.

“It seems like every year, the event gets a little better, bigger and more wonderful than ever before,” he said.

He especially thanked Chamber Assistant Director and Event Coordinator Terry Abeyta and the chamber’s Rods ’n Rhodies Committee.

Committee Co-Chair Gary Cargill concluded the ceremony.

“I want to thank everyone who showed up and came out this year. Most of you I have seen before and have come many years. You’ve brought some new friends with you, you’ve acquired some new friends, you saw how beautiful Florence is — and the weather we had was gorgeous,” he said. “We hope to keep this going for years and years.”

The Florence Area Chamber of Commerce sponsors many events throughout the year to bring visitors to area businesses and organizations. For more info, visit or stop by the Visitor’s Center, 290 Highway 101.


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