1950s car show and festival returns after 2-year hiatus

(WBIR-Rogersville) Thousands of visitors traveled back in time this weekend through a festival in Hawkins County.

Memory Lane is an antique car show and 1950's style fairground.

After a two year hiatus, it's back.

"When I walked in here my jaw just dropped of how awesome this is. This is my dream of how I wish the whole world could be, is back in this era," said Angel Friant, who traveled to Rogersville from Maryville.

The festival takes place on Otis Eldridge's property. Otis started Memory Lane with his wife back in 1998. They held their first event in 2000.

"Started off with maybe like a coffee grinder and then I bought a bunch of other items, and the next thing I knew I kept buying items so I built a store to house them," Eldridge said.

The festival holds building replicas from the 1950s, including a Studebaker Diner, a Texaco Service Station and a house that holds items from the 1950s. Eldridge said he grew up watching his siblings enjoy this era.

"The golden time of history. Rock and roll was invented, hot cars, good looking cars...after World War II everyone was happy," he said.

Memory Lane is now in its tenth year. The nostalgia festival took a two year hiatus when there were fewer car club members to help out.

Gerald Davis of Pensacola, Florida is one of the people who helped convince Eldridge to bring it back.

This is Davis' fourth time at the festival.

"The first time we were here it wasn't nearly this much. He didn't have the other car lot or the theatre. He's gone crazy with it now," Davis said, laughing.

He went on to say, "It's a people thing, really. The cars are just the vehicles that get you there."

Eldridge said it is his hobby to collect items from the 1950s.

Proceeds from the event benefit charities in the area.

About 1,000 cars registered for this year's show.


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