On Wednesday morning our good luck with the weather on the Syracuse Week Road Tour finally gave out—but it did not slow us down. Under cloudy skies we made the short drive to the New York State Fairgrounds. Rob O’Connor, president of Right Coast Inc., promoter of the Syracuse Nationals, had invited us for coffee and doughnuts at the new Expo Center. Rob greeted us at the door and ushered us up to the special suite on the second floor. The new building is massive and will be the new location for the Winfield Award and a number of exhibits during the Nationals. It will also be a popular destination because it is air conditioned (the temperatures are supposed to get into the 90s over the weekend). Rob thanked us all for joining in the celebration for the 20th anniversary of this great event. While we were at the fairgrounds we also took a moment to see where our special Road Tour parking and hospitality tent would be located during the weekend. We are the only group with reserved parking at the Syracuse Nationals.
After our morning at the Fairgrounds we went in a number of different directions. Some folks headed to the Glenn H. Curtiss Aviation Museum near Watkins Glen. Others went to the Erie Canal Museum in downtown Syracuse. It was a rainy day and perfect for exploring a museum. Later in the evening a number of us went to a special viewing of the 1969 movie Easy Rider at the local theater at the mall. It is a classic movie and most of us could relate to the music and the motorcycles.
Thursday morning registration opened at our hotel and some of our Road Tourians decided to take part in the Poker Run for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Many of us stopped at Power House Hot Rods and Performance in Central Square, New York, to check out their shop. They are the local go-to for high-performance powerplant swaps and custom muscle car builds. From Power House it was a short drive to the participants’ kick-off party at Lake Oneida where some local service organizations pitched it to serve hot dogs, sausage, hamburgers, and those popular salt potatoes. It was then back to the hotel where things were really hopping in the parking lot until the sun went down. Everything is ready and the 20th Syracuse Nationals gets started bright and early tomorrow morning.
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