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Sugar Valley Rally rolls for 25th year
May 09, 2013 Jerry Purvis   

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Photo by Jerry Purvis/Gering Citizen - Dan Dickinson, one of the founders of the Sugar Valley Rally, will be driving his 1949 Willys Jeepster in this year’s 25th anniversary event.

In just a few weeks, classic cars and drivers from around the country will gather in the community to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Sugar Valley Rally.

Media coordinator Dan Dickinson, who helped organize the first rally, said the deadline for entries is May 10. Forms and information are available at sugarvalleyrally.com

“We’re expecting a strong field of over 70 vehicles for this 25th year,” Dickinson said. “Some of the regulars from around the country will be joining us again. About third of our entries are usually from out of state.”

This year’s Sugar Valley Rally opens on Thursday, May 30 with a tech inspection for all entries. May 31 is the day for the rally school, followed by a practice run in the afternoon, taking drivers south to Kimball and back.

By about 4:30 p.m., the cars should start rolling in at Main Street Market in Scottsbluff. The Scottsbluff/Gering United Chamber of Commerce will host an after hours event that evening and the public is invited to inspect the cars and talk with the owners.

Saturday is the first full day for the rally, as drivers will roll east to Bayard. Fremont Motors in Scottsbluff will serve as the start and finish point.

Phil Brooker of Fremont Motors said they’re proud to be one of the sponsors. “The Rally does a lot for our community, showing us in a positive light and bringing the passion of classic cars to the area,” he said.

Brooker added he plans to drive his 1945 Ford F-l, which he found in a barn in Alliance almost three years ago. It had been restored by local classic car expert Tom Donahue.

Dickinson said the Rally’s 25th anniversary is an honor to all the volunteers who made the event possible over the years.

“We got the idea for a rally after seeing the Great Race and all the different cars that event drew,” he said. “At every stop, people of all ages came out to see those classic cars. America was built around the automobile, so what a better tribute than to have an event here.”

Dickinson and his wife, Cindy, will also participate in the rally in their 1949 Willys Jeepster. “We’ve been lucky over the years in that we haven’t broken down along the way,” he said. “The rally’s been good to us. I even got the Rookie of the Year Award one year.”

Dickinson emphasized the rally is for anyone with a classic car, not just seasoned drivers. With tips provided at the rally school, anyone can participate and have a great time in a fun event.
The oldest entry received so far is a 1918 Hudson. Other entries have come from California, Oregon, New Mexico, Kansas, Texas, North Dakota and as far east as Connecticut.
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