By: Duane Blankenship | Category: Other | Issue: May 2008
Ron Casteel, who began the Bixby Gospel Sing & Car Show at First United Methodist Church six years ago, dons a souvenir T-shirt from the 2006 event.
Do you like southern gospel music and slick cars, old and new? If you answered “yes,” mark your calendar for Sunday, June 1 for the 6th Annual Gospel Sing & Car Show, sponsored by First United Methodist Church (FUMC) of Bixby.
This yearly event is the brainchild of Ron Casteel, who thought of the idea as he was reminiscing about the gospel sings he attended as a young boy. “People drove to the event, and back then, all the cars were what we now consider classics,” said Ron. When he and his minister were discussing ways to get Bixby area citizens to visit the church, Ron made the suggestion that they sponsor a Gospel Sing & Car Show, and the rest is history. Ron and his wife Lucinda have chaired the successful event during its entire six-year run.
The project has gotten bigger and better over the years. It begins this year with car registrations at 9 a.m. Car entry is free, but a $15 donation is requested of each participant.
You may pre-register at FUMC or by calling the number listed. Registration forms are also available at several Bixby businesses, including O’Reilly Auto Parts, Advance Auto Parts, and AutoZone.
If you arrive early, you’re invited to participate in any of the morning worship services. There is a praise and worship service at 8:30, Sunday school classes at 9:45, and a traditional worship service at 11.
Church members will begin serving lunch inside the FUMC gymnasium at 12:30 p.m. The menu will include hamburgers, hot dogs, chips and other snacks, and beverages. There will be a nominal charge for food items. Entertainment will commence at this time on an outdoor stage. The gospel sing will showcase a combination of local talents, ranging from individuals to church groups. If you or your group is interested in singing, please contact the church.
Special activities are scheduled for children of all ages, including arts & crafts for exhibition and sale. Exhibitors are encouraged to contact the FUMC office as soon as possible to reserve their space. There is no charge for a space, but a $15 donation is encouraged.
Parking is available at the church, but it will fill up quickly because one of the two lots will be filled with vehicles, entertainment and arts & crafts exhibits. A free shuttle will run every 15 minutes between FUMC and the Church of Christ parking lot at 77 E. Breckenridge, four blocks away. You may also park across the street from Church of Christ at the Bixby Public Library and ride the shuttle bus.
The first 50 car entries will receive a goodie bag with items donated by local merchants, plus a dashboard plaque commemorating the event. Many merchants have donated door prizes to be given away between musical acts throughout the afternoon. Upon arrival, you will be directed to the registration table to register for door prizes. If your name is drawn, you must be present to win.
Spectators attending the event will serve as car show judges. Each person will receive a judging form when they register. There will be many categories, including Chevy, Ford, Dodge, Special Interest, Foreign, Pickups and more. Awards will be presented at approximately 3 p.m. The “crowd favorite” will receive a nice trophy, and other category winners will receive special event ribbons.
Commemorative T-shirts will be on sale throughout the day.
This is going to be a fun outing for the entire family, especially if you enjoy southern gospel music and old, new, sporty and customized cars!
Blankenship graduated from the University of Oklahoma and has enjoyed a lifetime career in advertising. He started his own advertising business in 1993 and enjoys creating graphic art and writing. Hobbies include hunting, fishing and pencil drawings. Duane and his wife, Janice, have been married over 50 years and are active in their church and community. He has been a contributing writer for Value News/Values Magazine since 2005.