Glory Daze was ‘glorious’ & ‘dazzling’
Last updated 9/28/2021 at Noon
Those were two of the many superlatives tossed about Saturday when Glory Daze commandeered three blocks on Main Avenue to showcase 75 vintage or pristine cars and trucks. The car show is sponsored by Sisters Park & Recreation District (SPRD).
The lineup of vehicles ran the gamut and was divided into eight categories: Muscle Cars, Pickup, Stock Restored, Corvette, Sports Car, Foreign Car, Model A, Street Rod, and Ladies Car. The High Desert Corvette Club came as a group with eight ’Vettes all lined in a row.
You would be forgiven if you thought Glory Daze was a “guy thing.” But you would be wrong. Eight cars were entered into the Ladies class, but several more cars owned by women were found in other classes. As the cars paraded into their parking spaces, marshaled by volunteers from Rotary Club of Sisters, at least three-quarters were occupied by men and women.
Pam Phillips of Sisters was there with her 1974 VW Thing. She drew the curious from as far away as Tigard, who reminisced about the iconic auto. Darlene Johnston, an Oklahoman now in Sisters, had one of the more eye-catching cars on display — a ’59 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible, the last year of production for the soft-top model. Hers was outfitted with cattle horns as wide as the car itself.
Cheryle Bridge of Bend was cheered on by her mate, Al Zemke. Her bright yellow ’56 T-Bird was coordinated with her matching poodle skirt and saddle shoes. They typified entrants who come primarily for the fun, not the glory, as no money prizes are awarded. In each class there are first- and second-place trophies presented at a ceremony on the Fir Street Park stage.
The park served as headquarters for the event and had water and snack concessions and a kids’ activity area where as many as 20 kids gathered throughout the four-hour show. On stage was DJ Chuck Boogie who played hits from the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s — ones that everybody knew and was caught singing along with.
“You can dance to this stuff and understand the words,” quipped Joan and Wally Clinton, who trekked from La Pine.
Like a few others they took to the floor in front of the stage to do a few swirls and hip moves.
The average age of the entrants was well north of AARP membership territory. The ages of the hundreds who took in the show ran the gamut from infants in strollers to grandparents in walkers. Four deer, a mature doe, and three young’uns, took in the show as well, not less than 10 feet from the ’62 MGA Roadster that took first place in the Sports Car category. Not at all bothered by the scores of close onlookers, the four munched away on the apple tree otherwise providing shade.
The oldest car entered was F. Allen Elliot’s 1930 Model A Ford. Cars from Gresham and Albany travelled the farthest distance to be shown. Two righthand-drive entries were included. Mike Gray and Bill Kelly, Rotarians helping to guide the cars into their places, were humored by the turning radius of the older cars.
Jennifer Holland, SPRD executive director, was beaming all day.
“This was so much more than we expected after a year off from COVID,” she said. “We cut off registrations at 77, causing some ruffled feathers for a number of entrants we had to turn away. Next year we will open registration in May and I can easily see over 100 cars.”
Full sun bathed the event in intense light, bouncing off the highly polished sheen of the fenders and hoods and causing the many photographers to contort themselves into weird angles to avoid flares and burnout.
The event ended when DJ Boogie cranked up a stirring vocal rendition of the National Anthem. Hats came off, hands rested on hearts, and the crowd joined in a rousing accompaniment. Then the grand finale – the revving of engines in unison. The sound could reportedly be heard at FivePine and as far away as Sisters Eagle Airport.
Sounds of another good day in Sisters Country.