Hot rod show wants to zoom to Vicksburg, says it needs help

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 26, 2002

[2/14/02] Ron Zuetlau and Homer Jennings plan to bring a hotrod show to Vicksburg in August and Wednesday got encouragement when they asked for help, including $100,000 worth of local support.

“I think it sounds great,” said Mayor Laurence Leyens who attended the meeting along with South Ward Alderman Sid Beauman. “The private sector is what is going to make this successful.”

Zuetlau and Jennings are president and chief executive officer, respectively, of ProMotion Publications. They said they took a similar show to Cherokee, N.C., in November and attracted 2,500 hot rods to that Smoky Mountain community of 6,900 people.

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About two dozen people from the local tourism and hospitality industry attended the meeting with the two men at the Vicksburg Convention Center. The meeting was organized by the Vicksburg Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Zuetlau told the group the Cherokee event was their first. They advertise through magazines they own, Southern Rodder and Northern Rodder, with a combined circulation of 100,000.

“We want to bring a 2,500-to-3,000-car show to Vicksburg, but we will need a lot of help from the community,” Zuetlau said.

Part of that would be about half of the $200,000 show budget, although he did not specify just how much of that amount will be in cash.

Jennings said in addition to attracting about 2,500 cars with two people per car, the show could attract as many as 100 to 120 vendors selling parts for people who build hot rods. The show would need about 3,000 rooms “We know you don’t have that many in Vicksburg,” Jennings said, adding overflow could be housed within a 40-to-50-mile radius.

Although the company will bring in people to work, Jennings said they will also need a number of local people both as paid employees and volunteers. They also plan to buy as much of their paperwork, posters, signs, banners and other supplies locally as possible.

Tentatively, they hope to have the show in Vicksburg the third week in August, but that is not firm.

“That happens to be a very good weekend for the vendors,” he said, adding the date does not conflict with other major shows across the country.

Curt Follmer, senior vice president and general manager of

Rainbow Casino, was excited about the prospects of getting the car show in Vicksburg.

“I plan to do everything I can to help,” he said.

Lisa Nosser, sales and marketing manager for the Vicksburg Convention and Visitors Bureau, said there will be at least eight more meetings with Zuetlau and Jennings to complete plans for the event.