Sunny skies and moderate temperatures Sunday got the season’s first Peabody Sunday Cruise off to a brisk and enjoyable start.
Both sides of the 100 block of N. Walnut St. were filled with cars, motorcycles, vendors, visitors, music, and good times. People milled around, admired the vehicles, bought trinkets, T-shirts, jellies, and doughnuts, and compared one model to another.
Gerry McCann, Andover, performed a music and message open church service in the middle of the block. McCann played guitar and sang “Amazing Grace,” “Let the Earth Rejoice,” “More Love,” and other traditional and contemporary hymns.
McCann belongs to the Kingdom Riders Club, a part of Christian Motorcyclists Association.
Owners bring their cars and motorcycles to a “come and go” exhibit, where they enjoy the show as long as they want and leave when they are ready. The vehicles are in varying states of restoration, some looking as if they just rolled off the production line and others looking in need of love and skilled attention.
Until noon, motorcycles outnumbered cars at the show.
John Day of Junction City brought the maroon 1959 Harley Davidson Panhead he’s owned since he was 17.
Thurman Davenport of Wichita rode his black 1998 95th anniversary Harley Davidson Heritage Springer.
“I found her in Fort Smith, Arkansas,” Davenport said. “I got it and customized it a bit. Harley Davidson came out with a toolbox that matches the bike and I’ve got it. I’ve got every accessory for it.”
The swimming pool builder has rebuilt motorcycles as a sideline hobby for years, rebuilding 30 to 40 of them. Some he’s kept and others he’s sold.
Charles Chamberlin from El Dorado brought a gray 1938 Chevrolet that’s been in the family since his parents bought it new. Used as a family car for years, it needed a lot of restoration by the time Chamberlin became the owner.
“I bought it in 1998, took it home and started working on it,” Chamberlin said.
He has restored it to a pleasure car that once again rolls down the highway to places like Denver and national parks.
“It’s a road car,” Chamberlin said. “I don’t trailer it around.”
Chamberlin quipped that he’s using it up now so his son doesn’t get it.
Brent Miles, one of the organizers of the car show, said planning for the events is a yearlong process of designing brochures and using various ways of getting the word out.
The three-year-old car show is not a competitive event with prizes awarded to exhibitors who meet selected criteria. Instead, it’s meant to be an enjoyable way to spend a Sunday at Peabody. The show has become more popular as time goes on, Miles said.
“We’re having slow and steady growth,” Miles said. “It’s kind of a meet and greet. Everyone comes and mingles.”
The $20 vendor’s fee goes back into making flyers and advertising cost, he said.
He said some of the exhibitors register ahead of time and others register when they arrive.
He got involved in the car show when he returned to his hometown two years ago.
“I’m from here originally,” Miles said.
Besides giving Peabody residents and others something to enjoy, it gives local businesses a reason to be open and increase sales, Miles said.