Southern Delaware Street Rod Association holds 28th annual Rod & Custom Jamboree

HARRINGTON — After missing the first Rod & Custom Jamboree hosted by the Southern Delaware Street Rod Association, the Smith’s knew they couldn’t miss another. They’ve parked their custom car on Smith Street at the Delaware State Fairgrounds ever since.

Don Smith and his wife Kathy drive down each year from Lancaster, Pa. to the annual show thanks to the insistence of a friend who did attend the first year.

“I like that there are things to do here other than just sit behind the car. There are local accommodations and you can’t beat the kickoff party,” Mr. Smith said during the 28th annual show last week.

Vendors and car owners started setting up their wares and cares Thursday, June 22 for the two-day show to run Friday and Saturday. The kickoff party is held each year on Friday night and includes free entertainment, clams and “people watching,” according to Mr. Smith.

“You can’t beat the people watching. It’s the best place in the world to watch people,” he added.

Saturday livens up with controlled burnouts, auto auctions, a neon light parade and flame throwers. Between events and shopping, attendees walk around to check out show entries.

Bob Tjaden of Harrington took advantage of the event as he has for years.

“I remember when it was in the parking lot down the way,” he remembered fondly as he talked with Jeff Nyce of Pottstown, Pa. who has driven his hot rod to the show in Harrington for 27 or 28 years.

Mr. Nyce happily showed off his 1937 Ford pickup that has been in his family for more than 60 years.

“Really, it’s my older sibling. I can remember mom driving down the street to the Acme in it,” he said. His parents still drive the pickup truck to the local diner to reminisce with friends.

“It brings people into the diner because they park it by the road and then a crowd gathers,” he chuckled.

LB Brittingham of Parsonsburg, Md. knows how well a hot rod can draw attention or bring a family together. He has been to the Southern Delaware Hot Rod Show for 25 years.

This year, however, was different. His grandson, Roland made his first appearance at the show at just 19 months old.

“He likes to drive in it or drive a John Deer tractor,” he said of his grandson. Roland enjoyed sitting behind the wheel of the 1934 Ford during the show.

Mr. Brittingham brought along other family members, his wife and his best friend, Ed Morris, who drove his own 1968 Convertible Camaro to the show.

“It’s really a family thing,” he said. “Where else can you travel just a little and find wholesome fun everyone can enjoy?”

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