The Times - Serving Waitsburg, Dayton and the Touchet Valley

By Ken Graham
The Times 

Rev Your Engines for All Wheels Weekend

24th annual event features classic cars and carloads of other entertainment


DAYTON – Anybody wandering into downtown Dayton Friday evening will be excused if they think they’ve entered a small-town time warp and jumped backward 50 years. Classic cars cruising Main Street and ‘50s and ‘60s music in the air will engulf visitors to downtown, as Dayton’s All Wheels Weekend revs up.

Friday afternoon, cars will begin rolling into town for the weekend-long event. Registration starts at 4 p.m. in front of Bette Lou Crothers’ State Farm office at First and Main.

This is Crothers’ 24th year leading the committee that puts on Dayton’s car show. When planning that first show in 1995, she thought there was a real good chance it would be a big flop. But it was a great success, and All Wheels Weekend has now become Dayton’s biggest annual event.

Cruise Control, a band from Tri-Cities, will perform from 6 to 9:30 p.m. Friday evening on the Columbia County Courthouse lawn, sponsored by Pacific Power.

HomeStreet Bank’s parking lot will again be home to the opening ceremony at 7:30 p.m., and the presentation of cars for the next couple of hours.

Downtown shops and restaurants will be open late Friday. Food court vendors on North Second St. will offer meals and lots of goodies Friday and Saturday. Lots of other non-food vendors will be offering their wares on South Second St. both days.

Marilyn Monroe (or someone who looks an awful lot like her) will be on hand Friday night and Saturday, sponsored by Puget Sound Energy. Also on hand both days will be Big Top, the Clown, a professional clown from Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus.

Raffle Tickets will be on sale for $10 at the registration desk for this year’s raffle truck, a 1983 Ford Ranger. This year’s truck raffle is sponsored by The Times and Bill and Michelle Konz. The winning ticket will be drawn during Saturday’s trophy presentation.

Registered cars will begin lining up at sunup on Main Street for Saturday’s Show and Shine. As many as 300 or more vehicles are expected to line the closed-off street, while hundreds of visitors will wander the downtown, admiring the classic cars of all ages, including some more than a century old. The Show and Shine officially begins at 9 a.m., and wraps up at 4 p.m.

A tribute to the flag presentation will be held at 9:30 a.m., led by Dayton’s American Legion Color Guard. Waitsburg’s Markeeta Littlewolf will sing the National Anthem.

Shops and restaurants will be open all day, and many will take part in the annual Poker Walk. Registered car owners, and anyone purchasing a $5 hand, can visit these merchants to collect cards in hopes of assembling a winning poker hand and winning prizes. There will also be a $1 dice roll at PDQ.

There will be loads of FREE kids’ activities throughout downtown on Saturday. Kids can get their faces painted or paint a special All Wheels T-shirt at Elk Drug, and play putt-putt golf at Banner Bank. The 4-H Robotics Club will also give demonstrations at Banner Bank.

The Dayton High School junior class will sponsor a car smash at PDQ for kids of all ages on Saturday.

On South First St., the Outlaw Lawn Dragster Races, sponsored by Skyline Parts of Dayton, will create noise and excitement for kids of all ages. Racing heats will be held at 10 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 2:45 p.m.

Visitors won’t want to miss the infamous Men’s Drag Races, sponsored by Northwest Business Services, starting in front of the Liberty Theater at 2 p.m. Grown men in dresses racing tricycles, is a sight that won’t soon be forgotten.

At the conclusion of the Show and Shine, the Trophy Presentation will be held at the Dayton Historic Depot, at N. Second and Commercial.

Action moves to the Columbia County Fairgrounds in the late afternoon. The fairgrounds Beer Garden opens at 3 p.m., and preliminaries of the All Wheels Weekend Demo Derby get underway at 4 p.m.

This year’s Demo Derby is sponsored by REA. It will be the first in a new five-event “CrashMania” series of derbies that will include two in Walla Walla, one in Hermiston, and the final event at the fairgrounds during the Columbia County Fair in September.

Along with the regular demo derby, a kids’ “Power Wheels” derby will be held, offering kids a chance to pop their competitors’ balloons without popping their own. All participants will receive prizes.

Dayton’s annual Father’s Day Breakfast, presented by Skyline Juniors, will be held Sunday morning from 7:30 to 10:30 a.m. at the fairgrounds youth building.

From 9 a.m. to noon Sunday, golfers are invited to take part in the annual All Wheels Weekend Golf Tournament, sponsored by HomeStreet Bank. A $10,000 hole-in-one putting contest will be held at the conclusion of the tournament for tournament entrants only.

It’s a weekend not to miss in Dayton, so get ready to rev your engines!


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