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Classic Car rally will be in area this weekend

Proceeds help Geneva Lake Environmental Agency

September 22, 2010 | 08:51 AM
Geneva Lake Environmental Agency Director Ted Peters is hoping a return to a three-day event on the final weekend of September will bring back the success and memories of the old classic car rally.

For the first time in three years, the Geneva Lake Classic Car Rally is going back to its roots with a weekend flurry of activities all in an effort to raise money for the GLEA.

From 1978 to 2007, the last weekend in September meant Lake Geneva and the surrounding area would be packed with shiny, rare classic cars cruising around to raise funds for the Corinne Kreissl Memorial Foundation. But, in March 2008, Lake Geneva Classic Car Rally co-founder Jan Kreissl announced the 30th year would be the last.

That left the future of the classic car rally in the area in question. After more than a year, the GLEA decided to organize the event as its own fundraiser. Last year, the one-day event, which was held the first weekend in October, was plagued by cold and rainy weather.

This year, Peters said he believes the event will be improved.

"We wanted to get back into the routine in which this event was so successful," Peters said. "A weekend of things to do is more inviting. There are other area activities we want to expose everyone to."

The same weekend, there's also a classic boat event at the Abbey in Fontana and the Williams Bay Lions Club is holding its annual pancake breakfast. Along with those outside events, there is a schedule of specific events for the car rally participants and others.

On Friday, Sept. 24, there will be a cocktail party at the Cove in Lake Geneva from 5 to 8 p.m. There, participants can purchase and pick up their poker hands. On Saturday, the morning starts with a parade line up starting at 9 a.m. The parade starts at 11 a.m. at the bridge on Wrigley Drive. The parade route moves north on Broad Street, to Dodge and the back way to the Lodge at Geneva Ridge, formerly known as Interlaken, Highway 50.

Peters said he would like to see people line Broad Street in Lake Geneva for the parade.

"We would like to give them (rally participants) a real hometown welcome," Peters said.

The poker runs start in the afternoon with a sock hop in the evening at the chalet at the Lodge at Geneva Ridge.

On Sunday, poker hands must be turned in at the chalet by 1 p.m. Winning poker hands will be given and basket raffles will be provided at that time. He expects cars to be parked down by the chalet on Sunday morning into the early afternoon.

Peters said so far, registration is up from last year. He said there are 35 parties registered and 260 poker hands sold. Peters said the GLEA focused on the event and spent a lot of time working to make it a success.

We've made a serious effort to plan it this year," Peters said. "We've made significant progress to upgrade this event."

He would like to see 100 cars and 600 poker hands sold for the event.

However, he believes that type of success is out of his hands. He said weather is always key to the success of a car rally. Peters said classic car owners don't always want to bring their vehicles out in the rain or cold weather.

"That is the biggest unknown," Peters said.

Peters said he would like to see the GLEA event become as popular as the Kreissl event. That fundraising effort collected about $700,000 over the years and often attracted 500 to 700 classic cars to the area each year.

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