( NEWPORT) – The 52nd Annual Newport Antique Auto Hill Climb is scheduled for October 4, 5 & 6 as the Newport Lions Club prepares for the annual gathering of antique auto enthusiasts. Hoping to stage another record-setting festival, the Lions will hold the event over the famous 1800-foot-long, 140- foot-high Newport Hill, once a proving ground for early automobile designs.
Nearly 300 cars are expected to compete in 31 classes in timed runs over the hill, while some 500 show cars, street rods and street machines are judged alongside classic antique vehicles in nine classes for trophies. Newest additions to the competition are three antique motorcycle classes, limited to side-valve models 1953 and older and grouped by engine displacement.
Practice runs will be held from 8 a.m. to noon and from 1 to 4:30 p.m. Saturday; and from 8 to 10 a.m.
Sunday. Opening ceremonies will begin at 10:30 a.m. Sunday with competition runs starting at 11 a.m.
A special dedication will take place Sunday at 1 p.m. as the Indiana Racing Memorial Association, in conjunction with the Automotive Heritage Group of Indiana Landmarks unveils a special historic marker
commemorating the Newport Hill Climbs, which date back to 1909.
This year’s the festival weekend will begin Friday morning, October 4 as the Flea Market and food concession stands will open all day. That night will feature the “Cruise At The Bottom” cruise-in and a street dance.
Also featured Friday will be the annual Gospel Music Jamboree at the Newport Methodist Church, featuring Southern Gospel recording artists The Lesters from St. Louis, Missouri.
With the opening of the hill for practice runs at 8 a.m. Saturday, some 300 Flea Market and Swap Meet booths will be open for business, as well as numerous food concessions around the courthouse square.
New this year will be Piato’s Catering from Champaign, Illinois as the official Lions Club Food Service provider in the Lions Community Building. Piato’s will be featuring their signature Pull Pork, Italian Beef and Grilled Chicken sandwiches along with a selection of sides and desserts.
Open at 6 a.m. Saturday and Sunday for breakfast.