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Gresham will be 'Rockin Round the Block'

Classic cars to rumble into downtown for annual festival

OUTLOOK FILE PHOTO: JOSH KULLA - There will be classic cars galore at the 2016 Rockin' Round the Block car show in Gresham, including this vintage Ford Fairlane. More than 10,000 people are expected to visit Gresham on Saturday, Aug. 13, when the annual Rockin’ Round the Block classic car fest rolls into town.

Registration starts at 8 a.m. on Fourth Street and Main Avenue.

Your vehicle must be registered by 1 p.m. if you want it to be judged in one of 45 categories, says Vern Farris, a Gladstone resident who chairs the event. Organizers will award 97 trophies at the festival.

Rockin’ Round the Block is expected to feature as many as 400 stock, modified and custom cars, trucks and motorcycles. The show raises scholarship funds for Mt. Hood Community College’s Automotive Technology program, and has accumulated $153,000 over the years.

Farris says he enjoys the event because it’s a “happy day,” and has helped automotive students at Mt. Hood achieve their dreams.

“Just to go out and see that many people at a car event is awesome,” he adds.

Farris plans on driving his 1939 Chevy sedan to Gresham for the event.

“It’s fun to take places, and kids really like it because it dark blue and it’s got red, yellow and orange flames on it, and they think that’s cool,” he says.

Activities galoreOUTLOOK FILE PHOTO: JOSH KULLA - Car enthusiasts check out a 1955 Chevy coupe at the 2015 Rockin' Round the Block car show. This year's event will take place Saturday in downtown Gresham.

The opening ceremony for Rockin’ Round the Block takes place at 10 a.m. on the corner of Third Street and Main Avenue. Other highlights of the day include the following:

  • East Hill Church’s student ministries hosts a lunch fundraiser at noon on the corner of Fifth Street and Miller Avenue. Free children’s activities, including games and face-painting, also take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the field located there, Farris says.

  • Ron Reudi and the Hurricanes will play from noon to 5 p.m. at Third Street and Main Avenue. Reudi says his band will “just be going through the all the history of rock ‘n’ roll,” and adds that he plans to drive his 1932 Ford deuce coupe to town.

    “The audience is great,” Reudi says of Rockin’ Round the Block. “I have a lot of friends come in from all over.”

  • Trophy presentations take place at 3 p.m. at the corner of Fourth Street and Main Avenue.

  • A Main Avenue cruise featuring event-registered vehicles will follow the presentations, at about 4 p.m.

    Rockin’ Round the Block is organized by Northwest Motorsports Association in cooperation with downtown merchants and sponsors Weston Buick KIA GMC, Advanced Auto Parts, Speed’s Towing and the Chevy Store. The Gresham Farmer’s Market will sell produce, artwork and other goods.

    Helping veterans

    Rockin’ Round the Block offers citizens a chance to honor veterans, says Chris Mann, a staff sergeant with the Oregon National Guard, who also served in the army and is an Iraq War veteran. Mann is executive director of the Oregon Military Support Network. The group helps veterans with everything from rental assistance to utilizing the services of the Veterans Administration, and Mann notes that many older vets need help keeping up their homes.

    “We get lots of home repairs requests,” Mann says, adding his organization will be staffing a table at Rockin’ Round the Block and selling raffle tickets for electric mini cars donated by Bob Carlson and Jan Weston.

    “When needs arise such as home repairs, groceries, clothing or Christmas toys, I just post the need on an email blast to approximately 500 supporters and people begin to contact me with ways they can help,” Mann adds.

    For more information on OMSN, visit OMSN.info.