YORK, PA - Thousands of street rods, muscle cars and specialty vehicles will roar into York this week for the National Street Rod Association's 43rd Annual Street Rod Nationals East, turning the county into a paradise for automobile enthusiasts and infusing the community with an estimated $13 million in economic benefits.
The York Expo Center will welcome about 3,500 street rods Friday, Saturday and Sunday, marking the 36th year that the county has hosted the family-friendly event.
"Summer cannot officially begin until the street rods thunder into York County. There's nothing quite like seeing people line up to watch as these classic cars rumble through the streets of York," said Anne Druck, President of the York County Convention & Visitors Bureau. "We're happy to have been the eastern destination for the National Street Rod Association for almost four decades and look forward to spending more summers together with our street-rodding friends."
Each year, the return of the street rods is a welcome sign for area businesses that benefit from the more than 20,000 visitors who flock to York each summer to see vehicles from all over the eastern United States.
Teresa Marquette, who has owned Coomb's Tavern with her husband Ron for more than 20 years, loves seeing the colorful street rods roll up to her restaurant.
The tavern, just five minutes from the York Expo Center, is a welcoming local stop for street rodders looking forward to gathering with friends in the restaurant's relaxing atmosphere and enjoying its calling card dish, the prime rib.
"We have regular customers that come in every year. They've really become more than customers - they've become friends," Teresa Marquette said. "While businesses across York see a huge increase in sales and profits when the street rods return each summer, it's about so much more than that. It's about the friendships that you make."
When visitors aren't enjoying the local fare and hospitality, the York Expo Center is the place to be during Street Rods National East.
Vehicles in attendance will range in value from $8,000 to $100,000, with all the cars and trucks combining for a total worth of more than $98 million. The public can view the cars throughout the day, as well as enjoy games and activities, live entertainment and more than $72,000 in prize giveaways.
More than 125 manufacturers and dealers of specialty automotive equipment will be on hand to display and sell parts, accessories and supplies.
Up to 150 street rods will line up Friday, June 3, for the traditional parade through York. One of the favorite spectacles of the event, the parade will depart the Market Street Gates at the York Expo Center promptly at noon, and participants will make their way through downtown York to the delight of merchants, residents and the normal lunch crowd.
State Representative Mike Regan, also a candidate for state Senate, will have the honor of making the York Pick, which will be included in the "Circle of Winners" featured on the York Expo Center grounds on Sunday, June 5. Other award-winning street rods will be on display, and an awards ceremony will follow at the grandstand.
A special Pinstripe Jamboree & Charity Auction will return, with pin-striping, air-brushing and hand-lettering artists from around the country auctioning off hand-created art. All proceeds will benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Visitors can also partake in free seminars covering a variety of topics, as well as browse used and original automotive parts at the Vintage Swap Meet.
All activities are open to the public. The show runs 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $15 per adult and $6 per child 6-12 years old. Younger children gain free admittance when accompanied by an adult.
Discounted tickets are available to: senior citizens (60+) with proper ID, military personnel with proper ID and NSRA members with a current membership card. Tickets are available only at the York Fairgrounds during the event.
Street Rod Nationals East is produced by the National Street Rod Association, the "fun with cars" sanctioning organization with worldwide membership. For more information, visit www.nsra-usa.com.
The York County Convention & Visitors Bureau's Mission is to maximize tourism expenditures and their economic impact in York County, PA, through comprehensive tourism sales and marketing programs. The York County CVB's Vision is for a York County where tourism is recognized for the value of its economic impact and its role in raising the profile of York County as a sought-after destination. For more information on the York County Convention & Visitors Bureau, call 1-888-858-9675 or visit www.yorkpa.org.