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Celebration of 1950s planned

June family event at fairgrounds

By Angie Landsverk

Jackie Habighorst enjoys embracing the essence of the 1950s.  Photo courtesy of Wisdom Photography
Jackie Habighorst enjoys embracing the essence of the 1950s. Photo courtesy of Wisdom Photography

Vintage Pipes & Stripes will bring the spirit of the 1950s to the Waupaca County Fairgrounds on June 10 and 11.

Described as a traditional rockabilly weekend, it will include a custom car show, bands, entertainment for children, food and beverages, vendors, a swap meet, a charity giveaway and a fashion show.

“I thought if we’re going to do it, we might as well do it big,” said Brian Bohrtz, who is among those organizing this first-time event.

The gates to Vintage Pipes & Stripes will open at noon Friday, June 10 and then at 8 a.m. on Saturday, June 11.

On Saturday, it will open to show cars at 6 a.m.

Activities will run until 11 p.m. both days.

Daily admission will be $10, with no charge for children age 15 and under.

“We want to get kids away from their iPads for a day and outside. It’s such a fast society today. We want to show them how to relax and slow down a little bit,” said Jackie Habighorst, who is also helping plan the event.

The planning for Vintage Pipes & Stripes began more than a year ago, when Bohrtz reserved the fairgrounds. He has been promoting the event ever since.

“This all started in California about 15 years ago and is making its way here,” he said of events like this. “The group of people I know that remember the ‘50s say, ‘Oh man, it was a good time.’”

Bohrtz, who drives a 1959 Ford Ranch wagon, grew up watching his father restore cars. Now he restores cars as part of his business, Double B’s.

“I went to shows throughout the Midwest for two years to see what makes them interesting,” he said.

The bands booked for Vintage Pipes & Stripes fit the ‘50s theme, and swing dance will be taught for those who are interested in learning it.

While most rockabilly events feature pin-up contests, the organizers of this upcoming event are opting to have a fashion show instead.

Bohrtz said people who attend these events often dress in ‘50s attire.

At Vintage Pipes & Stripes, there will be prizes for the best ‘50s dressed boy and girl, couple, family and group.

“We’re giving away a total of $400 in prizes for the Dress the Part and Win contest,” he said.

The winner of each category will win $100.

“We want guys, gals, people of all ages,” said Habighorst. “Typically people who come with their cars dress for their cars. They live that part.”

They seek to bring people of all generations together.

“We want people to stay the whole time,” said Habighorst, whose interest in the 1950s began during her own youth.

Her comment on a person’s Facebook page last year snowballed into her current involvement in the rockabilly movement.

“I never would have guessed that there’s this world out there,” she said.

She heard about the event Bohrtz was planning, and he contacted her about being involved.

Bohrtz also donated his labor into building a 1956 Chevy truck will be raffled off on the second day of the event for a charity called Cruise For A Cause.

Raffle tickets will cost $5, and 100 percent of the money will go to the charity, he said.

The winner must be present when the name is drawn.

Vintage Pipes & Stripes will also involve community groups.

The Weyauwega Fire Department will do a pig roast on Friday and barbecue chicken dinners on Saturday.

The Waupaca County K9 Unit will sell brats and hamburgers both days.

“We went to get the whole community involved,” Bohrtz said.

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