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The River Rally and West Jefferson Ox Roast Escape Saturday’s Wash Out

The all-day drizzle on Saturday washed out my original plans to attend the 10th Annual Coughlin Car Show in Pataskala, Ohio. Fortunately, the rain moved out of the area  just in time to bring nice weather for the shows scheduled on Sunday and Labor Day.


Despite wet roads early Sunday morning, I made the drive to The River Church In A Barn Car Rally Cruise In. The church is located a few miles north of Delaware, Ohio on Rt. 42.

This is the 15th year the church has held
the rally cruise-in on the first Sunday of September.  It's also my third year participating in the event.

The cruise-in offered free registration, hot dogs, popcorn and sno-cones. Sunday
Service at 10AM was open to anyone wishing to attend.  Anyone registering an automobile was automatically entered to win a nice selection of door prizes.  Raffle tickets could also be purchased to win a 13 drawer tool chest. All donations benefitted the Orphan Outreach program.

New this year was a ragtime band providing "live" entertainment.

I think the early morning wet roads caused attendance to be down a little from previous years.  Only 53 automobiles and eight motorcycles turned out for this year's rally.


One of the more unusual vehicles making this year's rally was this 1996 Chevy Impala hearse.  According to the owner, it started out as your standard Cadillac hearse.  The owner swapped out the Cadillac front-end and engine with those from a 1996 Impala.  I got a kick out of his license plate.

Another interesting car was Mike Shirkey's 1966 Pontiac Tempest.  Two years ago the car was a 4-door white Tempest.

Today, Mike's Tempest has two fewer doors and is a maroon color.  If you didn't know the history of his car,  you'd never guess it once had 4-doors.

It's not very often you see a 1966 Ford Econoline at a car show. Nothing like having the engine located between the seats.

There were 15 "People's Choice" awards and one "Show Stopper" award this year.  Both members of the congregation and rally entrants could submit one vote for their favorite automobile.  The auto having the most votes received the "Show Stopper" award.

The 1962 Chevy Impala belonging to Pam Shankle received the most votes and was selected the "Show Stopper" winner. There's no question the blue paint on Pam's Impala is a real "show stopper". You really have to see the car in person to appreciate how much the color stands out.

Pam's husband, Jeff, also received a "People's Choice" award for his 1950 Ford pickup.  I bet there was some discussion over trophy size at the Shankle house Sunday evening. ?

Burn outs are always encouraged as you leave the rally.

Here's a great video the River Church posted from the show.


Since the weather altered my plans on Saturday,  I decided to head south on Labor Day to West Jefferson, Ohio to attend the Ox Roast Cruise In.

This was my first time attending the cruise-in which is organized and hosted by the Pasttime Cruisers.

The cruise-in is part of the larger West Jefferson Ox Roast festival which annually takes place in Garrette Park over the Labor Day weekend .

One of the highlights of the festival is the serving of ox roast sandwiches on Labor Day.  The sandwich I ate for lunch came with about 4 inches of meat.  I told my friends to call 911 if I happened to go into a "meat coma".

This year the cruise-in registered 145 vehicles.  Raffle tickets could be purchased for door prizes and a 50/50 drawing.

Here's a cross-section of automobiles that participated in the cruise-in.


The Ox Roast Cruise In gave out 35 "Favorite" trophies and one Ox Roast Choice or "Best of Show".

This year's Ox Roast Choice trophy went to Mike Gibson and his 1947 Buick Super Convertible.  I asked Mike why I hadn't seen his car before and he told me the restoration process was just completed several weeks ago.  So far his car has received awards at the two shows he has entered it in.

I give the Ox Roast Cruise In a solid B grade.  Two negatives were the lack of convenient restroom facilities close to the cruise-in parking, and the audibility of the sound system.

If you needed to use the restroom, you had to walk a pretty good distance to the festival area. The Pasttime Cruisers have promised that a port-a-potty will be located close to the cruise-in parking next year.

The other negative was the sound system.  Where I was parked, you couldn't clearly hear any of the announcements.   I hope next year the Pasttime Cruisers improve the system so it's audible over the entire parking area, especially for those parked close to Fellows Avenue.

2 thoughts on “The River Rally and West Jefferson Ox Roast Escape Saturday’s Wash Out

  1. Dick Shultz

    Nice show, great food. My only complaint is that parking is limited and they encourage canopies which took up many possible spaces.

    Also, we seem to be at many of the same shows... what vehicle do you drive ?

    1. Kim Hawksworth

      Hi Dick, Thanks for commenting. Yes, I did notice canopies taking up potential parking spaces. If I remember,the description on old did indicate that canopies were welcome. I always worry about the wind getting a hold of one and blowing it into a car. I was at show early this year where the car owners in the row in front of me practically set up their canopy over part of my hood. Fortunately, there wasn't much wind that day.

      I have a black 2017 Camaro ZL1 that I show. If you see my car, please stop by and say hi. It would be great to meet you.

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