2017-09-06 / Front Page

Car and truck show may bring up to 300 vehicles, performers

By SAM ADAMS


LABOR DAY ENTERTAINMENT — Cross Country Bluegrass was among several local and regional bands to perform before an appreciative audience Monday afternoon and night at the City of Whitesburg’s Labor Day Celebration. The event, held at River Park in Whitesburg, ended with a fireworks display that had intended to be shown during the city’s rain-shortened Fourth of July celebration. (Photo by Thomas Biggs) LABOR DAY ENTERTAINMENT — Cross Country Bluegrass was among several local and regional bands to perform before an appreciative audience Monday afternoon and night at the City of Whitesburg’s Labor Day Celebration. The event, held at River Park in Whitesburg, ended with a fireworks display that had intended to be shown during the city’s rain-shortened Fourth of July celebration. (Photo by Thomas Biggs) The Heritage 2K Car Show, absent from Whitesburg since 2015, makes its return this weekend with an expected 200-300 cars and mini-trucks, a dancing, fire-breathing pickup truck, and a motorcycle stunt show.

Car owners and spectators from West Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland, Indiana and other states are expected to begin arriving in Whitesburg Thursday in preparation for the show on Saturday.

Heritage 2K has been held in Whitesburg for 12 of the past 14 years, always on the weekend after Labor Day. Promoter Lee Michael Caudill says it is the largest event of its type in Kentucky. It attracts hundreds of classic and custom cars and trucks from all over the country, and crowds of nearly 10,000 people over the course of a weekend, Caudill said. Guests from as far away as California, Texas, New York and Canada have come to Whitesburg for the show in the past, many multiple times.

Caudill’s father, L.M. “Mike” Caudill, said the crowds also bring money — hundreds of thousands of dollars over the course of the weekend, spent on everything from food and lodging to car parts and souvenirs.

“It’s not just circulating what’s already here, it’s bringing in fresh money to the economy,” Caudill said.

This year’s show is a little more stripped down than in the past. While previous Heritage 2Ks have begun on Friday night and run through Sunday, which one goes from “twelve to dark” on Saturday, and doesn’t have individual prizes. Organizers are calling it the Heritage 3K Lite.

But “lite” isn’t expected to apply to traffic and business. Mountain Comprehensive Health Corporation, of which Mike Caudill is CEO, now owns the old Whitesburg High School, and the show will be held there rather than in the parking lot behind Mountain Comprehensive Health Corporation.

Mike Caudill said they’re holding the show at the old high school “with the full knowledge and expectation” that it will spill over into the downtown area and support the businesses there.

The Caudills say the event is the second largest tourism event in the county behind the Mountain Heritage Festival, but it isn’t just aimed at tourists.

“We’re able to give the local people a kind of entertainment that people drive thousands of miles for, and it’s free,” the elder Caudill said.

In addition to the classic and custom cars, live music will begin at 5 p.m. Sept. 9, and a stunt motorcycle show will begin in downtown shortly after 6 p.m.

The largest hydraulic hopper show on the east coast – created by low rider champion Clint Perkins – will begin at 7 p.m. The evening will wrap up with Jamie Kelly of North Carolina and his bed dancing truck, Schizophrenia – which Caudill described as “an amalgamation of mechanical art project and engineering school thesis.” This year’s routine will include fire dancers performing with the truck.

The Heritage 2K show has traditionally supported the Kentucky State Police Shop with a Trooper Christmas fund for needy children, and all proceeds this year will go to that program. In 2015, the show donated over $5,000 to Shop with a trooper and nearly $1,000 to the Ronald McDonald House of the Bluegrass. It has donated a total of more than $15,000 charitable organizations. The show and events are free, but the Heritage 2K show will sell t-shirts and accept donations for the charity.

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