Mark Calitri reports: The Great Race coming to Owensboro this summer-raising profile of tourism in Kentucky

The Great Race is coming.
At about 5 p.m. on June 24, 120 vintage cars — the oldest made in 1916 — will roll into Owensboro on a 2,300-mile nine-day race from San Antonio, Texas, to Greenville, South Carolina.
Cars from Japan, England, Germany, Canada and all over the United States will be in the race, competing for $150,000 in prize money.
Jeff Stumb, organizer of the Great Race, said in a news release that he expects a large crowd to be downtown to see the racers pull in.
“When the Great Race pulls into a city, it becomes an instant festival,” he said. “Last year, we had a couple of overnight stops with more than 10,000 spectators on our way to having 250,000 people see the Great Race during the event.”
June 24 is also the opening day of this year’s ROMP bluegrass festival, which has drawn more than 27,000 fans from several countries in recent years.

Mark Calitri, CVB president, said, “This is the country’s oldest, longest-running vintage automobile event. We are calling this the ‘Road to ROMP’ and will market it as a regional draw, focusing heavily on the GRADD region, Southern Indiana and Louisville. Our marketing plan will focus on partnering with the Bluegrass Hall of Fame & ROMP, along with O.Z. Tyler and our other important stakeholders.”
He said, “Our concept is to combine this event along with the Hall of Fame and create a festival-type atmosphere.”
In Kentucky, the race will stop in Paducah, Owensboro, Bardstown and Georgetown.

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