FREDERICKTOWN — The traditional music and classic cars that filled the 2009 Fredericktown Car Show and Bluegrass Festival on Saturday gave families the opportunities to see close to 200 carefully restored vehicles, and hear the beauty of authentic bluegrass and folk music.
Car show participants came from across the state to enter their projects.
“We go to quite a few [car shows] throughout the year, and it’s one of the nicest,” Marion resident Dean Bollinger said of the Fredericktown event.
Bollinger was among six friends who traveled to the car show together. Bill and Elizabeth Bride, also part of the Marion group, brought one of the more unusual entries to the show, a 1978 Cadillac flower car, once used to transport funeral flowers.
The long black car had a stainless steel bed in the back equipped with a drain to let the water from the flowers drain out, according to Bill.
Vehicles with four wheels weren’t the only entries at the show. Motorcycles lined one side of the festival area, which was held again this year at the old Dana plant location.
Mount Vernon resident Adrian Haslehurst was rubbing the chrome on the two Harley Davidson bikes he brought to the show.
“I’m just shining it up,” he said as he used a soft cloth on his bright blue 2007 Heritage Softtail.
Haslehurst joked that while he is not a collector, he did have a “few more” motorcycles at home. He said he came to the event to hear the bluegrass music.
Mount Vernon resident Steve Howard sat near his 1934 red Ford pickup which he owns with his wife, Jane. Howard said his classic vehicle isn’t just for show; he does drive it.
“It’s not trailered, it’s driven wherever I go,” Howard said. “I keep tinkering on it, and put it in a new motor this spring.”
He added that air conditioning would be another nice addition to the truck, especially on a day such as Saturday, when temperatures soared into the 90s.
On the other side of the festival grounds, crowds of music lovers and many of the car show participants listened to the musical portion of the event.
Michael and Carrie Nobel Kline, a West Virginia musical couple that plays traditional bluegrass music, opened the music festival. The couple played music from as far back as the Civil War, introducing many in the crowd to the older traditional sound for the first time.
“We’re trying to ‘reseed’ some of the old songs, plant them in the hearts of people,” Carrie explained after she and her husband finished singing. “You can say more in a song than through most other mediums. I think it goes directly to people’s hearts.”
Bluegrass festival organizer John Walsh said he believes the crowds respond so positively to the older music because of its simpler messages.
“Those songs are still relevant,” Walsh said. “It’s a simple message, and a simple delivery.”
Mount Vernon resident Sarah Goslee Reed played some of her original folk music. Reed, who is married to local family physician Dr. Larry Reed, is a microbiologist. She said that while she loves science, “the opposite side of her brain,” the musical part of her, becomes very unhappy if she doesn’t keep making music and writing songs.
Safire Sun, a bluegrass group which plays across the country, also took the stage, with many of the members being a part of the same family.
The youngest member, Ethan Whitehair, is 8.
The group played traditional bluegrass and gospel tunes, as well as original music written by band member Yvonne Sanson, who teaches music locally. Whitehair provided the lead vocals on two songs, including one written just for him by Sanson.
Northwest Territory, another group with a large local following, topped off the festival. Some in the crowd danced along to their music.
The event also featured food prepared by the Fredericktown Community Fire District, to raise funds for the department.
Six top choice awards were presented to car show entries. The Fredericktown EMS Choice Award went to the 1946 Chevrolet pickup owned by Mike Pruitt.
Jerry Seiber’s 1968 Rambler won the Walker Chiropractic Choice Award. Jack’s Garage Choice for best street rod went to the 1933 Plymouth owned by Jerry Davies.
The First-Knox National Band Choice Award was presented to Doc Meyers for his 1968 Camaro Z28. Fredericktown Chevrolet’s Choice Award for best Chevrolet went to the 1965 Chevrolet pickup owned by Jeff Tolley.
The big winner of the day was hometown participant Dr. Joe Poole, who took home the only judge’s perfect score of the day, and the Fredericktown Village Choice Award for his 1941 Cadillac convertible.