Fastiques Rod and Custom of Southern Ohio presented the 33rd annual Pumpkin Run at the Clermont County Fairgrounds Oct. 3-5.
Over the past 33 years, the annual classic car show known as the Pumpkin Run has become one of the most popular events in the county, drawing tens of thousands of people to Southwestern Ohio from all over the country.
“This was our best year yet,” said Fastiques president Frank Witt. “Everyone, including the vendors, the spectators, the participants, and the thousands of exhibitors, had an outstanding time. The weather and the attendance was phenomenal.”
Every year, organizers of the event work very hard to make it something that the whole family can enjoy, with musical entertainment, bands, games, and clowns for the children.
This year was no exception, Witt said, with the many different activities, such as kid and adult games, the strolling clowns, model car contests, midget car exhibitions, and the live musical entertainment.
"All of this adds to the family value of the event so that people without cars can enjoy the festival just as much as those who have cars," Witt said.
One of those families was the Bristol family from Jellico, Tennessee, who drove up to the event, making it a family road trip that they had planned since the beginning of the year.
"Well, we love old cars," said father Tony. "My two boys get a big kick out of seeing the kinds of cars that I grew up with. This is a real treat for the whole family."
Founded in 1973 and located in the village of Owensville, Fastiques Rod and Custom of Southern Ohio has about 50 member families. It is a street vintage car club and member of the National Street Rod Association.
Witt said that the club has presented the Pumpkin Run for the last 33 years as a wonderful, fun way for people like the Bristol's to meet, share their love of unusual and antique automobiles, and to especially, raise money for charitable and humanitarian organizations.
Fastiques has raised and donated more than half a million dollars to the Cincinnati Shriner's Burn Hospital over the years. It is not yet known how much Pumpkin Run 2008 has raised for charity, Witt said.
"We try and give the Shriner's Hospital $50,000 every year," Witt said. "We have found over the years that spectators donate as well."
Every December, Fastiques presents donations to charities at its annual awards and appreciation banquet. In addition to the Shriner's Burn Hospital, other charities that Fastiques is concerned with include the Earth Angel Foundation, local homeless shelters, and the Clermont County Agricultural Society Fair Board of Directors for them to make capital improvements to the Clermont County fairgrounds.
At the Pumpkin Run's conclusion, more than 100 recognition awards were given out for the best in show in many different categories.
Witt said that the Pumpkin Run is the biggest automobile show in southern Ohio with an average display of 3,000 vintage cars and trucks.