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The Spring Rod Run event for 2020 may have been cancelled by the city, but that did not stop car enthusiasts from showing up to Pigeon Forge in droves over the weekend.
Rod Run is a hugely popular car show event that normally takes place in the spring and fall. The 3-day show is geared toward car enthusiasts and normally features cash giveaways and awards. But this time, the main theme seemed to be perseverance.
The Spring Rod Run event was originally scheduled for April 16-18, 2020. Due to the coronavirus, it was rescheduled for June 11-13. The event’s website then announced another rescheduling for July, with dates to be determined, but then decided to keep the June dates when Tennessee began lifting capacity restrictions.
Despite a hopeful Facebook post on May 15 from event organizers that the June dates were “looking good,” city leaders and event organizers inevitably agreed to cancel the event altogether.
Following the announcement, Bryon Cooper, Rod Run event owner and planner, said, “This is a difficult but necessary decision given our current circumstances. We can now turn our focus to planning a great fall event in September.”
Due to the late cancellation notice — and perhaps confusion — many would-be attendees decided to come to Pigeon Forge anyway in June with classic cars in tow as originally planned.
Locals say the unofficial event was dubbed by some as “Rona Rod Run”.
“It’s been a great show for it to be a late show. A lot more people turned out than I figured,” said attendee Carlos McClure of Mt. Vernon, Ky. McClure said he has been coming to the event for 35 years.
“They cancelled the main show, the main car show, so, ya know, everybody just got on the phone and called each other and told them, ‘Come on, it’s still happening.'”
When asked if people seemed to be worried about the coronavirus, McClure said, “Not really, I’m not hearing much saying about that. Everyone’s just having a good time and enjoying themselves.”
The Fall Rod Run event is scheduled for Sept. 17-19, 2020. For more information, visit the website at pigeonforgerodruns.com.
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