The 26th annual Dogwood Car, Truck and Motorcycle Festival will be held on the square in Cassville this Saturday. Over 100 entries are expected for this year's event, which is sponsored by the Cassville Area Chamber of Commerce.
"Last year, we had 145 entries, and I am optimistic the show will be every bit that large this year," said Mindi Artherton, chamber executive director. "The Dogwood has such a strong history in Cassville. It is exciting to see the entries come into the chamber office.
"We have people attend the show from Cassville and all around the four-state area," said Artherton. "It is a great time for our businesses to roll out the red carpet for our guests."
Community members are invited to tour the square and view all of the cars, trucks and motorcycles on display during the event. Spectator admission is free.
"This is a great event for participants and the general public alike," said Artherton. "This is a fun event for the general public because they will have the chance to view some top notch cars and enjoy music, food vendors and great shopping."
Festival musical entertainment will be sponsored by Four Seasons Real Estate and Runnels Chiropractic.
"At noon, all entries will be asked to rev their engines for Thunder on the Square," said Artherton. "This was started in 2010 and has turned into something our participants really enjoy. It is very loud on the square at that time, but it is all in good fun."
The first 100 car enthusiasts to enter this year's festival will receive a goody bag, which will include a commemorative dash plaque, items donated by chamber businesses, a coupon for a free Sonic breakfast burrito, a coupon for a discounted coffee from Presto Espresso and other discount certificates from local merchants.
"Due to the large crowd we had last year, we have changed around a few things to make it easy on our participants and provide us with a little more room," said Artherton. "This year, we will have registration in the old Neill's Homestore building rather than the chamber office. Participants can park first, and then walk to registration.
"Dogwood volunteers will be directing parking," said Artherton. "Also, all the food vendors will be located in the chamber parking lot. This will free up West Street making more room for overflow parking."
Registration will be held from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. Judging will begin at 10:30 a.m., and awards will be presented at around 3 p.m.
Participants will have over a dozen show classes to choose from, including antique cars, trucks, motorcycles, muscle cars and rat rods. Each entry will also be eligible for speciality trophies, such as the Dogwood Dozen.
The following businesses will sponsor specialty trophies this year: Baywash Car Wash, Show Stopper; B & K Auto Body, best presentation; Country Dodge Chrysler Jeep, best MOPAR; Les Jacobs Ford, best Ford, Mercury or Lincoln; Cassville Auto Body, best paint; Carefree Auto Center, best interior; Gautney's Garage, best engine; Vollenweider Metal Works, furthest trailered; Remax Flat Creek Realty, furthest traveled; Ellis, Cupps and Cole Attorneys at Law, mayor's pick; Able 2, chief of police's pick; First State Bank, state representative award; Hometown Mortgage, most unique; Seven Valleys Construction, largest car club; Cassville Motor Inn, most unique motorcycle; Ken's Collision Center, best GM or Chevy; O'Reilly's and Carquest, work in progress; and Freedom Bank, Barry County sheriff's pick.
The largest car club will receive a $100 cash prize. The best work in progress will be awarded $250 in gift certificates.
Event T-shirts, sponsored by Shumaker Tire and Wheel, tickets for a 50/50 drawing and beverages, donated by Ramey and Sonic, will be available at the chamber booth on the square. Door prizes will be given away to festival participants throughout the day.
"The Dogwood benefits the Cassville community because it attracts people from all over the country," said Artherton. "Right now, I have had 32 people pre-register, and 21 of them are from out of town. We have one entry joining us all the way from Mississippi.
"I have no doubt this number will grow to over 100 entries, with most of them being from out of town," said Artherton. "What a great thing for our local economy."