NASCAR Legend Richard Petty to be at Ridgely Car Show
by John Evans
On Sunday, October 23, NASCAR legend Richard Petty will once again make an appearance at the Ridgely Car and Motorcycle show.
The event, the sixth annual, will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Four hundred armbands will be handed out starting at 6 a.m. the day of the event to meet and get an autograph from the King, who missed last year’s show due to inclement weather in North Carolina. In addition to signing autographs, Petty usually walks the grounds of the show along Belle Street, meeting people, having his picture taken, viewing the cars and blending in with the crowd.
Making her second appearance at the show will be Miss Linda Vaughn, “Miss Hurst”, who will be signing all day. Her presence last year was a delight to the hundreds of persons who attended the show. Also appearing will be Sonny Shroyer, who played “Enos” from the Dukes of Hazzard television show, and the famous General Lee car.
A newcomer to the show this year will be Dennis Gage, host of the “My Classic Car” show, who will tape an episode of his TV show at the car show.
Also new this year is a car rally that will take participants throughout Caroline County. The car show will be held on Saturday, October 22 – the day prior to the car show. The car rally will begin in Denton and travel through Preston, Federalsburg, Greensboro, Goldsboro, Marydel, Templeville and Hillsboro and end at the Ridgely Pharmacy in Ridgely. The rally will include a “Lunch with the Stars.”
“This is something new we put together this year, to showcase all the great places to visit in the county,” Walls said. “We thought it would be a great way to do a road trip through the county and show off the history and beauty of the county.”
Then, of course, there is the car show – one of the largest on the East Coast with some of the most amazing entries ever seen. The show accepts all years, makes and models of cars, trucks and motorcycles in dozens of classes. There will be over 90 trophies, including some very unique trophies for specific classes. One lucky registered entry will win $500 in our raffle.
There will also be live music and local vendors on hand for the show.
Petty’s relationship with the show has been since its third year through Brenda Walls, who is a personal friend of the Pettys and the organizer of the car show.
On Petty, Walls said: “He is very genuine and a down to earth person and makes everyone he meets feel special.”
Walls said she first met Petty and his family when she visited them at their home in Randleman, N.C., to discuss donating the profits from her car show to the Petty Family Foundation.
“(After the first two years of the show) I travelled down there and told (the Petty family) what we do and told them that we wanted to donate the proceeds from our show to their foundation,” Walls said. “Richard offered to appear at the (2013) show and sign autographs.”
Petty was in attendance at the 2013 and 2014 shows, though weather prevented his appearance last year.
In the five years of its existence, the show has raised more than $120,000. In its first year, the show had just over 100 cars. Last year, more than 600 cars, trucks and motorcycles registered for the show. In 2014, more than 8,000 persons attended the event, the biggest turnout of its five years.
“Richard was so disappointed (last year) that he couldn’t be here in person to express his gratitude,” said Walls. “We’re glad he plans to be with us again this year.”
Part of the proceeds from the show will go to the Petty Family Foundation but local charities also benefit from the show. This year, proceeds will go to the Caroline Hospice Foundation and Pink Cares of the Eastern Shore Maryland, which offers aid to those suffering from life-changing illnesses.
The Petty Family Foundation of charities includes Victory Junction Gang Camp in Randleman, N.C., a camp for children stricken through serious illness or injury, the Folds of Honor Foundation and the Paralyzed Veterans organization, which benefits individuals and their families who were paralyzed while in combat.
The event is held rain or shine. More information may be obtained by going to the website ridgelycarshow.com. Interested car enthusiasts or prospective vendors may also register through that website.