Richard Petty vis­its Ridgely Car Show

Event sees record crowd

Times-Record - - Front Page - By DUSTIN HOLT dholt@ches­pub.com

RIDGELY — The sixth an­nual Ridgely Phar­macy and Ice Cream Par­lor Car and Mo­tor­cy­cle Show set a record Sun­day with 846 reg­is­tered cars and more than 15,000 peo­ple visit­ing the small Caro­line County town on a bright fall day.

The char­ity car show fea­tured an ap­pear­ance by NAS­CAR leg­end Richard Petty who signed au­to­graphs and met with fans in front of the Ridgely Phar­macy and Ice Cream Par­lor on Belle Street. The visit marked Petty’s third trip to down­town Ridgely for the car show.

Petty was joined by “My Clas­sic Car” host Den­nis Gage who filmed a fea­ture episode about the car show for his tele­vi­sion se­ries. Rac­ing per­son­al­ity Miss Linda Vaughn “Miss Hurst,” ac­tor Sonny Shroyer, who played Enos on the “Dukes of Haz­zard,” and ac­tor Rick Hurst, who played Cle­tus on the “Dukes of Haz­zard,” also signed au­to­graphs and posed for pic­tures with fans.

“We are hon­ored to have Richard Petty, Den­nis Gage, Linda Vaughn, Sonny Shroyer and Rick Hurst at the car show,” said Ridgely Car Show Or­ga­nizer Brenda Walls. “We are proud to raise money for Richard’s char­i­ties and all the great causes they sup­port. Richard and the other stars visit­ing Ridgely helps out so many other lo­cal char­i­ties as well. We ap­pre­ci­ate their sup­port.

“It is such a thrill to watch peo­ple get to meet Richard Petty, and how he in­ter­acts with the fans,” she said. “This is his third year visit­ing the car show, and we are just hon­ored to have him.”

Or­ga­niz­ers handed out wrist­bands at 6 a.m. Sun­day to meet Petty. He ar­rived at about 10:30 a.m. in a Ply­mouth Su­per­bird with an es­cort from the Worces­ter County Sher­iff’s Of­fice and a ride from Caro­line County Sher­iff Randy Bounds.

Petty greeted fans and signed au­to­graphs for about two hours, and then took a tour around the car show along Belle and Rail­road streets.

The op­por­tu­nity to bring Petty to the show came about when or­ga­niz­ers se­lected

the Petty Fam­ily Foun­da­tion as the event’s char­ity in 2013. The foun­da­tion serves the Vic­tory Junc­tion Gang Camp in Ran­dle­man, N.C., a haven for chil­dren stricken with se­ri­ous ill­ness and in­jury.

The show also ben­e­fits the Ridgely Car Show Foun­da­tion non­profit or­ga­ni­za­tion, which sup­ports lo­cal char­i­ties, in­clud­ing Pink Cares of the Eastern Shore, Md. and Caro­line Hos­pice Foun­da­tion.

The 2013 show raised $30,243 for the Petty Fam­ily Foun­da­tion, while the 2014 show raised $37,243. While he was sched­uled to ap­pear at the 2015 show, se­vere weather and his­toric flood­ing in North Carolina kept Petty from mak­ing the trip to Ridgely. Even though rain fell last year, the event raised more than $30,000. A to­tal amount raised at the 2016 car show has not been de­ter­mined.

“The car show turned out amaz­ing,” Walls said. “I’m to­tally over­whelmed by the sup­port from the com­mu­nity and the amount of peo­ple who chose to come to Ridgely to­day.

“We had Den­nis Gage as a new guest this year,” she said. “He is a blast to be around, and we are hon­ored he filmed his tele­vi­sion show here at the car show.

“I just want to thank ev­ery­one on staff and all of the vol­un­teers who helped put this car show to­gether,” she said. “We could not have done it with­out them. We had so many peo­ple step up to help us this year.

“We want to give a spe­cial thanks to the po­lice de­part­ments in Ridgely, Den­ton, Federalsburg and Greens­boro, along with the Caro­line County Sher­iff’s Of­fice and Worces­ter County Sher­iff’s Of­fice for all they have done to help with the car show,” she said. “They are all phe­nom­e­nal with all the lo­gis­ti­cal work they did be­fore, dur­ing and af­ter the car show. Many came in and vol­un­teered their time.”

The car show fea­tured all years, makes and mod­els of cars, trucks and mo­tor­cy­cles in dozens of classes. There were more than 90 tro­phies pre­sented, in­clud­ing some unique tro­phies for spe­cific classes.

The event also will fea­ture live mu­sic, lo­cal ven­dors and ac­tiv­i­ties for all ages. Federalsburg’s Tal­lon De­neau won the singing com­pe­ti­tion.

Ridgely Town Com­mis­sioner An­thony Casey es­ti­mated more than 15,000 peo­ple vis­ited Ridgely for the car show.

“Thank you to Brenda Walls and ev­ery­one on the Ridgely Car show Foun­da­tion for mak­ing this hap­pen,” he said. “The town of Ridgely re­ally ben­e­fits from this great event.

“This is a very pos­i­tive event for ev­ery­one lo­cally,” he said. “There are so many peo­ple that ben­e­fit from it from fire de­part­ments to Lit­tle League base­ball and soft­ball teams. Hav­ing ev­ery­one from the east coast and from around the coun­try to show up in our lit­tle town and us show them what we can put on is great.”

Federalsburg native Tal­lon De­neau won the singing com­pe­ti­tion at Sun­day’s Ridgely Car Show.

PHOTOS BY DUSTIN HOLT

NAS­CAR leg­end Richard Petty, cen­ter, meets Ma­cyn Dobbs and Jor­ryn Dobbs of Ridgely at Sun­day’s Ridgely Car Show.

NAS­CAR leg­end Richard Petty, right, meets 2015 Del­marva Soap Derby Cham­pion and Federalsburg native Natalie Southard at Sun­day’s Ridgely Car Show.

U.S. Army mem­ber Brad Smith, right, presents an Amer­i­can Flag to NAS­CAR leg­end Richard Petty at Sun­day’s Ridgely Car Show. The flag flew at a mil­i­tary base in Afghanistan on Petty’s birth­day, July 2, and on In­de­pen­dence Day.

Ridgely Car Show or­ga­nizer Brenda Walls, cen­ter, gets a pic­ture with “My Clas­sic Car” host Den­nis Gage, left, and NAS­CAR leg­end Richard Petty at Sun­day’s Ridgely Car Show.

NAS­CAR leg­end Richard Petty, cen­ter, meets the staff in the Ridgely Phar­macy and Ice Cream Par­lor dur­ing Sun­day’s Ridgely Car Show.

NAS­CAR leg­end Richard Petty, right, meets Cameron Hiller at Sun­day’s Ridgely Car Show.

PHOTOS BY DUSTIN HOLT

NAS­CAR leg­end Richard Petty, left, meets Linda Voshell of Mary­del at Sun­day’s Ridgely Car Show.

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