Car enthusiasts to descend upon city for Thunderbird 3-day event

Published 5:19 pm Thursday, July 12, 2018

Near the end of July, the roar of “thunder” will be heard loud and clear throughout the City of Elizabethton.

In an effort to showcase what the area has to offer, Ron McCloud with the Carter County Car Club is looking to organize a Thunderbird event during the last week of the month that will encourage fellowship, fun and bring extra money to the local economy.

City Council was able to hear about the event during Thursday’s meeting, which will take place July 26-28.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

“I am planning a Thunderbird event that will include approximately 65 Thunderbirds and 125 people from all over the country,” McCloud said in a letter addressed to City Council.

McCloud added the event will be the fifth he’s been able to work on and the Thunderbird owners are able to have a fun time taking in the sights and sounds of Elizabethton.

“It’s always a great time,” McCloud told the Elizabethton Star. “We’re able to bring in car owners from all across the country. This gives them a chance to see what Elizabethton has and it’s a great chance for the economy to receive a boost from everyone that’s visiting.”

McCloud presented the letter to Council to receive some assistance for the event. On Thursday, July 26, the group will have dinner at Beef ‘O’ Brady’s in Elizabethton and then make their way to the State Line Drive-In for a movie. The next day, the group will have dinner at Amigo’s and end the evening by stopping by a showing of Liberty! The Saga of Sycamore Shoals’ 40th anniversary show.

To cap off the activities, the Saturday, July 28 cruise-in will be extended from 5 to 10:30 p.m. to accommodate the additional Thunderbirds. A catered meal will be provided by City Market and Thunderbird items will be auctioned off during the event to help raise money for the Carter County Imagination Library.

McCloud hopes to use the event as a way to help attract additional tourists to the area, with each day’s activity featuring a local business and activity offered in Elizabethton.

Prior to the Thunderbird event, car club members will be putting pieces in place for another tradition.

The club will host their annual all day car show this weekend from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, July 14, in conjunction with the regularly scheduled cruise-in.

Registration is $20 the day of and all proceeds from the event go toward supporting the club’s mission.

“We’re going to have different door prizes, gift bags and other treats for the public,” McCloud recently told the Elizabethton Star. “Typically this event allows us to spend the day to raise funds for the different children’s charities. With the registration fees, we can typically raise around $3,000 or so. It’s a great opportunity for people to come together, spend time together downtown and share in a good cause.”