Street rods hit the streets of Two HarborsCars, cars and more cars will be rolling into Two Harbors this weekend for the Minnesota Street Rod Association Fall Campout.
By: Tammy Francois, Lake County News Chronicle
Cars, cars and more cars will be rolling into Two Harbors this weekend for the Minnesota Street Rod Association Fall Campout. The event, for MSRA members with some activities open to the general public, was originally slated to take place at the Burlington Bay Camp Ground, but other local camp grounds have been enlisted due to the demand.
The MSRA holds spring and fall campouts, said Dale Sohlstrom, a local member of the group and one of the organizers of the fall campout for the past 30-plus years. The fall gathering is usually planned for the northern half of the state. The North Shore Classic Cruisers, a local group, submitted a proposal to the association, which selected Two Harbors for this year’s event and also in 2013.
“If the weather’s good, I think attendance will supersede what’s been projected. They’re planning stuff that’s never been done before,” said Randy Ellestad, owner of the Knife River Campground and member of the MSRA. Among other activities, the association is planning a fish fry, karaoke and an outdoor movie and rides on the decommissioned, privately owned former Coast Guard cutter, Sundew.
Ellestad will also host events as a way to give back to association members.
“We’ll be putting up a tent and having music Friday and Saturday nights,” he said. Friday night, the Fractals will play and Saturday Ellestad’s band, Ninety to the Dozen, and Madison Avenue will entertain the crowd.
Early estimates were that the event would draw about 300 cars, with a greater number of car enthusiasts coming into town to see the vehicles. There could be as many as 400 cars and 800 owners and enthusiasts, said Sohlstrom.
“There’s been a lot of excitement within MSRA and within Two Harbors. I’ve probably had calls [about the campout] every day this year,” he said.
Loosely defined, street rods are old car bodies with newer motors and modern features. Depending on how deep their pockets are, some owners spend more than $100,000 on their four-wheeled labors of love.
“There’s room for all kinds of people in this. There are guys who just want to run the tires off their cars and others who want a show pony. There’s no right or wrong,” Ellestad said. “It’s a great American art form; something unique unto America.”
Sohlstrom will be driving a 1956 Pontiac Sedan Delivery this weekend, but this isn’t his first street rod. He’s owned at least one since college. His enthusiasm for cars is also something his whole family has enjoyed.
“I have a son and a daughter and both of them will be in attendance this weekend,” he said. “This is something we have always done as a family. It’s something that everyone can be involved in.”
The MSRA Fall Campout will include a car show on Saturday from 8 a.m. until noon at the parking lots south of the Two Harbors Community Center and American Legion. The public is invited to attend. The show will also be an official MSRA voting event, so the best of the best cars from all over the state are expected to be there. There are six such events per year with one car selected as car of the year. Only MSRA members can vote.
While some activities will be open only to MSRA members, there will be plenty of events for the general public. The Two Harbors Community Center will have a craft fair from 8 a.m.-3 p.m., Saturday, with Oktoberfest on First Avenue that afternoon and evening from 3-8 p.m. Saturday after dark there will be a fireworks display over Burlington Bay.
Also, look for the North Shore Scenic Railroad’s steam train to make its way to town shortly after noon Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Now that’s a really hot ride!