Rooster and I haven’t attended a festival all summer. It’s the month of September, and we Hoosiers are entering car show season. Therefore, we jumped at the chance to make the hour and a half trip to the Williamsport Motorama.
Fun facts about Williamsport, Indiana
- It is located in Warren County
- Founded in 1829
- Elevation: 633 Ft.
- Located on the Banks of the Wabash River
- Home of Indiana’s tallest waterfall
- Williamsport falls located in the middle of town
- It is on the opposite side of the river from the Wabash and Erie Canal
- Once called “Side-out City” or “Bingy.”
- Believed Paul Dresser wrote the Indiana state song “On the Banks of the Wabash” here
The Williamsport Motorama
I’m about to make a serious confession. Rooster and I suffer from an addiction to festivals and concerts. It is one of our pleasures in life to travel to one of these events and take in the vibe. If you’ve ever been to one of these events, you know there is a sort of electric energy in the air. A person can sense the energy of these events as soon as you park your car. It doesn’t matter how cheesy or unoriginal the event appears to be. If a fun ambiance is in the air, we know we’ll have a good time.
Thus, Rooster and I felt an overwhelming urge to drive an hour and a half to attend the Williamsport Motorama. The small city on the banks of the Wabash River started this festival three years ago. The event started to gain momentum before COVID-19 hit. It surprised Rooster and me the city decided to hold the festival this year considering all the restrictions.
Journey to the Williamsport Motorama
The GPS on Rooster’s phone decided we might enjoy a two-hour romp down deserted country roads on this sunny September morning. My husband’s theory is the device took us on this bumpy, rambling route to avoid road construction. He is probably right since the summer is drawing to a close, bringing an end to construction season here in the Hoosier state. Road crews are working weekends to finish projects before the weather changes. The trip wouldn’t have been bad except for the absence of gas stations, which meant no restroom facilities for a considerable amount of time. I drank a lot of coffee at breakfast. Need I say more.
Our experience at the Williamsport Motorama
As soon as we pulled into the parking lot, the festival sprang to life. We could see a crowd of carnival hungry Hoosiers checking out the cars across the street. Rooster and I hurried to join them. The typical fifties and sixties music played over a sound system as we wandered from car to car. The main street of the small city filled with tricked out rides appeared to be the central focus of the festival. We saw samples of vehicles from the 1950s to firetrucks and souped-up muscle cars. No car show would be complete in rural Indiana without a John Deer tractor. We even saw an old roadster with an American flag painted on the side.
Rooster started binge-watching car shows on TV during our time social distancing cooped up inside the house for COVID-19. These shows are the ones where a garage will take a rusted out old rust bucket and transform it into an amazing ride. I worry he will take up the antique car habit in his old age. Our bank account will be healthier if he sticks to old typewriters.
The standard fixture of food trucks was noticeably missing from this event. One food vendor sold elephant ears out of a food truck. One parking lot held a small number of local vendors. We didn’t spend much time looking at what they had to sell. This watered-down festival probably didn’t match the fun of the events held in previous years. Nobody in the crowd wore face masks, but they all managed to stay at least six feet apart unless they were in a family group.
Overall, the Williamsport Motorama left me feeling deflated. The event this year was like a balloon slowly leaking air. It had the shape of a festival without the fullness and excitement that comes with one of these fairs. When drizzle started to fall from the sky, many of these antique cars pulled away from the curb and headed for the highway.
The Blue Elephant
Rooster and I had driven too far to turn around and go home. We ducked into the Blue Elephant to have a look around. A hoarder’s paradise waited for us once we strolled through the door. Stacks of merchandise collected from estate and yard sales begged to be purchased at a reasonable price.
Rooster and I must have spent an hour wandering the isles, trying to find something to take home with us. We walked away, empty-handed. The only item that captured our interest was an old sewing machine. Since we couldn’t fit it into our Chevy Spark, we had to pass on the deal.
Rooster suggested tours of antique shops across the state as our future blog adventures. We know they will be open for business, whereas you can’t always count on museums during this time of new normal. I think he might be onto something. People addicted to adventure will find a way to experience one, even in the middle of a pandemic. Who knows, we might even end up in a junk shop near you. We are always open to suggestions.
Who is Molly Shea?
Molly Shea is an accomplished fictional short story writer from Indiana, who writes short stories and novels about a fictional town called Tecumseh. To read more of her short stories and adventures click here.
Be sure to follow Molly on Twitter!