SUGAR VALLEY RALLY, THUNDER ON THE PRAIRIE ROAR INTO ACTION

Posted 1 year ago

By John Axtell

Thunder on the Prarie - 1

2012 Thunder on the Prairie

This is a great weekend for old car enthusiasts with the 25th annual Sugar Valley Rally in the Twin Cities and the 14th annual Route 385 Cruisers Thunder on the Prairie Car Show and Rod Run in Alliance.

Our second annual Double Q Country-KCOW Arts and Crafts Festival is also being held tomorrow just across the street from the Thunder on the Prairie Car Show in Central Park.

Both car events begin today and end Sunday, but they are very different. Vehicles in the Sugar Valley Rally must be at least 50 years old and will drive as far as Bayard, while the Thunder on the Prairie features vehicles essential from 1950 on and stays in Alliance…primarily at Central Park.

The number and types of vehicle are also much different, with almost twice as many of each expected for Thunder on the Prairie.

Thunder on the Prairie begins tonight with a dinner at 6:30 in Central Park for the early arrivals, but the main event…the car show…begins tomorrow morning in the park at 11:00 and runs till 5:00. The weekend wraps up Sunday with a 9:30 poker run and awards back at the park at 11:00.

The Sugar Valley Rally is a precision-driving contest where drivers and navigators follow a predetermined course set through specific times, speeds and distances. 66 competitors are registered this year

Its technical inspection was last night, while the mandatory Rally School and practice rally are today. Media coordinator Dan Dickinson says the rally school gives the participants important information such as road construction in the area and who to call if your antique car breaks down.

Dickinson says it’s also a time for socialization that often helps the newer drivers get acquainted with the Rally veterans.

The practice rally begins at the Rally School site…the Harms Center at Western Nebraska Community College…at 1 p.m. with a pit stop at the Kimball Museum and a finish between 4:30 and 6:30 at the Main Street Market.

State 1 of the Rally…the primary competition is tomorrow, beginning with the ceremonial start at 8 am at Fremont Motors. Morrill hosts the morning pit stop and Bayard the afternoon pit stop with the cars returning to Gering in between for lunch at the Civic Center before finishing back at Fremont Motors.

Sunday morning’s Stage 2 begins at the Knights of Columbus building in Scottsbluff with breakfast at 6 a.m. and the cars leaving at 8 a.m.

The lone pit stop is at the Legacy of the Plains Museum, and the first cars should arrive at the finish line at Cozad’s Garage in Gering, which survived a major fire just 2 weeks ago, about 11:00. Lunch will be offered until 1:00, when the awards presentation begins.