Automania fulfills 'big kid' dreams
Fans come out to meet 'Daisy Duke'
July 03. 2014 9:14AM
Some came for the cars.
Some came for the food.
Others came for the music.
But 42-year-old Chad Marcotte came for another reason: his longtime crush on Catherine Bach, who filled the role and the short-shorts of “Daisy Duke” on the popular TV show, “The Dukes of Hazzard.”
“This is a dream come true,” says Marcotte, of Sioux City, Iowa, who brought his wife and two kids, Chance, 13, and Casey, 17, along to Automania. “I feel like I’ve known her all my life, and it’s amazing that it’s (Dukes of Hazzard) still popular after all this time.”
Marcotte said he learned of Bach coming to Automania in February while taking in the World of Wheels in Sioux Falls. “I saw the flyer for it at that time and put it on the calendar,” he said.
Amy Roeder of Lennox also stood in a long line of fans to meet Bach with her two youngsters, Lance and Abby, both of which weren’t even a thought when the “Dukes of Hazzard” was a Friday night TV ritual.
But that doesn’t mean they’re not fans now.
“He owns every ‘Dukes of Hazzard’ DVR and over 50 ‘Dukes of Hazzard’ collectibles,” Amy shares of her son’s passion.
“This is awesome,” Lance said moments after having his photo snapped standing beside Bach.
Folks started lining up about 3 o’clock both days to meet Bach.
“On Friday, she had a line from 3 o’clock to almost about 10:15,” said Automania organizer Bill Nelson. “And Saturday was the same thing. She’s very gracious, takes a lot of pictures and took her time with the kids.”
Roeder said she and her family make it a point to attend Automania every year, and said they especially enjoy it in the Brandon setting.
“We enjoy just coming out and seeing all the cars,” she said, “and we love having it in Brandon.”
Automania organizer Bill Nelson deemed the two-day event a success, despite late afternoon rain showers on Saturday that whittled the crowd down to about 400 for the last show band of the day, The Devonshires.
“Friday was great,” Nelson said. “There was a sea of people from 6 to about 10:30, and we were very lucky that Saturday afternoon was very steady (with people).”
Nelson said this year’s event was “a little lighter on cars, (but had) a lot more vendors and a lot more people.”
Nelson said several car owners, who were victim to recent floodwaters, were unable to bring their cars – or even get to them – to Automania. “Otherwise, we might have even had more people than we did here on Friday.”
Nelson estimates 900 cars were on display on Friday, and about 700 were lined up on Brandon’s Holly Boulevard on Saturday.
Nelson and his team of Automania planners will regroup in early August, he said, to begin planning the June 26-27, 2015 Automania.
“We’re going to look at two days again,” Nelson said, “and we do have a few ideas to expand it even more.”
Those ideas, however, are yet to be announced.
The ability to begin setting up Thursday helped the event to run smoothly, Nelson said.
“That enabled ups not be so far behind,” he said. “And we just want to thank the community for their huge support – the city, the chamber, the police and fire departments – and to the volunteers who helped to make this year special.”