The technology for a time machine does not yet exist in 2018, but the town of Waynesburg recently had a chance to go back to the 1950s. During the 17th annual 50s Fest & Car Cruise in Waynesburg, sounds of doo-wop music and engines revving took over High St. for several hours, allowing those in attendance to reminisce on a much simpler time.
The show, which took place Sept. 8 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., was hosted by Waynesburg Prosperous & Beautiful. Shelly Brown, promotions chair for the organization and co-chair of the 50s Fest and Car Cruise, has helped plan and run the 50s Fest since its inception.
Brown said that part of the mission of Waynesburg Prosperous & Beautiful is to enhance the community.
“We often brainstorm to try and come up with various activities and events that would drive what we wanted to do,” said Brown. “The 50s fest fits that mission perfectly.”
Since its inception in 2001, Brown said the show has been a roaring success with the community.
“Unlike regular car shows, the 50s Fest is a cruise,” Brown said. “We close the whole street and it’s kind of reminiscent of the 50s and 60s where you would come down and cruise. Everybody is welcome and there is no judging of the cars, so you can just come and have a good time.”
Teri Garcia of Masontown, along with her husband, Nick, has been to every celebration of the 50s Fest for the past 17 years.
“We weren’t even married yet when we went for the first time,” Garcia said. “Now we bring our kids and we all still enjoy it together.”
Garcia and her family don’t just attend the 50’s Fest — they fully participate. Each year, Garcia said they dress in 50s attire and they bring a car of their own to show off. This year, they featured their ‘67 dusty rose Mustang, “Rosie.”
“This is an event we truly look forward to each year,” Garcia said. “It’s become a tradition for our family, and we enjoy dressing up and making memories. It really adds to the event itself.”
Despite a cloudy forecast and cooler temperatures, the crowd at the 50s fest was constantly growing, as community members stopped by. Garcia said no negative weather forecast could ever keep them her family attending.
“We know some people get scared off by rain and they don’t want to go outside or take their cars out of the garage,” she said. “But for us, we will always be, here rain or shine.”
As a business owner, Brown said she has always been impressed with the town of Waynesburg and how well it has sustained itself over the years. The show is proof of the town’s tenacity and community, Brown said.
“During the 50s Fest, all the shops stay open and participate, so it helps the economy here as well,” Brown said. “Waynesburg is uniquely beautiful in that we have a downtown area that is alive and not all boarded up. It’s successful events like this one that help that cause.”