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Car show leaves legacy

The last classic car to leave the downtown area on Saturday represented the end of an era, albeit a short era.

For the last 11 years, the Shake, Rattle and Roll downtown car show has been one of the city’s favorite spring events, drawing people from throughout the area and even from other regions to view dozens of beautifully restored classic and vintage cars and other aspects of the event, including live entertainment, food and vendors.

To casual onlookers, the car show was a Suffolk Tourism event. But while that department handled logistics and marketing of the show, the real force behind it was the volunteer coordinator, Sonia Thacker.

Thacker had established relationships with most of the car owners who participated in the show. Many of them used to race at the old Suffolk Raceway at the airport, and Thacker knew them way back when. She spent years connecting participants and car owners to the Shake, Rattle and Roll car show and ensuring the best and brightest cars were entered. She also sold sponsorships in the event program.

While family obligations are taking Thacker away from her duties and thereby ending the annual car show, we thank her for her many years of behind-the-scenes dedication that helped this show be a success each and every year.

And, as Tourism Development Manager Theresa Earles noted, there are and will be other events that bring people downtown to help support the businesses. We look forward to many more years of great downtown entertainment.