The city of Lancaster on June 22 will serve as the first overnight stop for the 2019 Great Race, the largest and longest-running vintage car rally in the nation.
On that Saturday, Great Race participants and staff will be arriving on The BLVD, and the city of Lancaster will welcome them to town with an evening of festivities open to the public. From the time the first car enters Lancaster (roughly at 4:15 p.m.) a number of activities will take place until 8 p.m. in celebrating the racers and reminding the community of its rich car history.
“With great pride, the city of Lancaster welcomes the 2019 Great Race to our community,” said Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris. “With the race’s expansive history and past success, we were ecstatic when Lancaster was chosen as the first major stop. There is no better way to show our appreciation and hospitality than to host these visitors from around the world in our downtown cultural epicenter—The BLVD. We look forward to greeting greatness with greatness, and sharing an evening of enjoyment and entertainment with our community.”
Serving up fun for the entire family, the Great Race celebration will include live music, children’s activities, arts and crafts, and cultural presentations by the Museum of Art & History (MOAH), as well as a classic car show featuring more than 130 vintage vehicles. Additionally, some Great Race racers allow children to sit in their cars for pictures – a bonus that makes this free event even more delightful.
The Great Race is a long-held tradition started in 1983 by Tom McRae and Norman Miller. Each summer, people from around the world navigate across varying areas of North America in vintage cars, built in 1974 or earlier. This year, the cars will travel from Riverside to Tacoma, Wash. on a nine-day excursion.
Participants continue to race each year in hopes of winning the more than $150,000 awarded in prizes. There are five different divisions, each having a varying set of qualifications. Every car must have a driver and a navigator who follow 220 to 250 instructions per day. This race is about much more than speed. Teams must work well together, follow very specific directions, possess a strong sense of timeliness, and be attentive to the particular needs of their respective vintage cars.
“We expect the Great Race to attract many residents and visitors,” said Destination Lancaster Chairman and Lancaster Councilmember Ken Mann. “The BLVD is a prime location for hosting major City events due to the extensive offering of unique businesses and local favorites for dining, shopping, and entertainment. As everyone comes out to support the racers, we anticipate a truly positive impact on the local economy.”
For more information regarding the 2019 Great Race and its celebration in Lancaster, visit destinationlancasterca.org.