Monday, October 24, 2016

Cooter's Sperryville Fire Dept. Concert plus New Details on the New Cooter's and Hazzard Homecoming

Check the bottom of the post for two major announcements!

Another great weekend in Northern Virginia!  Did I ever tell you how happy I am that the heart of Hazzard County is only three hours away from my house?  This weekend I visited Sperryville, VA for one of the final weekends of Cooter's In The Country in Sperryville before the big move over the mountain to Luray.  Ben hosted a charity concert at the Sperryville Volunteer Fire Department and car show.  It was a blast.

A good bit of my weekend was spent with this gorgeous General Lee.  I rode around Washington and Speeryville in it, and chased it around a little.  This Ger'ral belongs to Ben and Alma and is amazing.

Fellow Dukes aficionado, Richie Alligood, keeps the car in peak condition.  Me and Richie had a good time hanging out and talking Dukes all weekend.

Once we got the car in position at the entrance of the car show we set up a few merchandise tables.

As soon as we had the tables looking good, a huge gust of wind came in a blew most everything down.  We had to move all the tables and ended up moving the Gen'ral too.  It was windy all day, but that didn't stop the Dukes fans from coming from all over.

The Sperryville Volunteer Fire Department were great hosts.  They had all of their equipment shined up and on display.

These are some impressive trucks.

How cool is this classic?

There were dozens of cars on display at the car show.  You might say this is a Starsky and Hutch car, but I call it a Cooter car from the first episode.

There were a lot of great cars at the event.

The "Death Trap" was a cool entry into the car show.  I'd like to see this bad boy chasing the General Lee.

Creepy clown sighting!

All of the other cars are great and all, but I'm interested in the orange ones with 01 on the doors. There were two additional Gen'rals at the show along side Ben's.

I enjoyed comparing the three cars and noticing the slight differences.  This one was Hemi Orange and was a little redder than Ben's.  Richie said that Ben's uses the Corvette Flame Red and has less red in it.

The third General there is Hugger Orange and is even redder than Hemi Orange.  All three were different.  Fellow Dukes nut, Earl owns this car and his father-in-law owns the above Starsky car.  

The small Hazzard section of the car show was definitely the most popular area of the show. Everyone had a great time checking out the General Lee and taking pictures.

This is my new pal Bubby.  He is very proud of his Scooby Doo pickup truck.  It looks great.  

Ben had a really good time taking in all the beautiful cars and meeting all the attendees.

When the car show was winding down, Ben and The Cooter's Garage Band took the stage.  It was Ben's first time back on the stage since breaking his hip.  He never missed a step.

Lisa Meadows and the rest of the band were flawless as usual.  They always put on a great show.

I sat in the audience with Miss Alma.  We both loved seeing this Dukes loving dad and his Duke Boy and Girl enjoying the show.   This is what Dukes of Hazzard is all about.

Here's another great sight.  Families loving the Dukes together just makes me so happy.  Everyone had a great time at the concert.

The Fire Department put on a great show.  The cars, the food, and the concert were all so much fun. Thank you for everything you do Sperryville Volunteer Fire Department!

Ben handed out trophies to the winners of the car show.  Everyone who won took a picture with Cooter.  This was the winner of the best all around car.

The day concluded with a meet and greet with Ben inside the Fire Hall.  You know Ben was going to sign everything for everyone.

This is Earl and his family.  They brought the General Lee and the Starsky car.  Earl just finished his Double Zero Mustang and is bringing it to the big event next July.  I can't wait to see it.

When I say Ben will sign everything, I mean it.  This is Ben singing someone's cell phone.  Not their case, but the actual phone.  I had to capture the moment.

If you've never been to a Ben Jones autograph session, you are missing out.  You may have to stand in line a little longer than usual, but when you get up to meet the man, you will love it.  He takes as much time as possible with every person.  He'll chat about the old days, share stories about the Dukes, talk sports, crack jokes, anything you want.  I really enjoy my duty as Ben's assistant because I get to hear all the great conversations.  It's also fun snapping pictures for everyone.

Sometime people snap their own pictures and I snap them snapping said pictures.

I really loved the patina on this Gen'ral.  You can tell he was loved.  The owner told me he remembered getting him new in 1981.  Dukes for life.

Ben liked seeing this classic too.

Toward the end of the event, this motley crew showed up.  That's Dukes super fans, Jim and Laura Cunningham, Matt and Jill Thomas, and the one and only Billy Lambing.

It was very nice catching up with these guys.  It's always fun swapping Dukes stories and hanging out.

Richie Alligood sure is a great guy.  Friday night after we moved around some Dukes items at Ben and Alma's house, we dug though over thirty pages of Dukes of Hazzard items on ebay.  I'm pretty sure that's something I've only ever done alone.  It was really cool going through so much Dukes with someone who is as passionate about it as I am.  Me and Richie are cut from the same (orange) cloth and I really enjoy the time I get to spend with him.

Always gotta grab a selfie with Miss Alma.  We had a great chat about future plans for Cooter's Place that I will get to very soon.

It was a great weekend with Ben and Alma.  I'm so glad Ben is feeling so much better and is back doing events.  He'll be busy soon doing appearances and getting ready for a huge summer next year in Luray!

When I was leaving, I snapped one more picture of the current location of Cooter's In The Country.  It sure was fun while it lasted. 

Next stop Luray, VA!  The Sperryville store is closing at the end of October.  After everything is moved, there will be a soft opening and they will start selling the Cooter's merchandise and food items, but the majority of the store won't be open for a while.  Though this wasn't the initial idea, the new location for Cooter's in the Country is shaping up to be the ultimate Dukes of Hazzard destination.  Ben and Alma are taking everything they've learned from the four other locations and applying it to the newest addition of the Cooter's Place family.  There will be the store, the museum, the ice cream shop, the restaurant, the indoor car showroom, the indoor concert area, and so much more.  There will be so much room inside the building.  The museum is going to be very thought out and a lot of planning is going into it.  There will be a General Lee on display as well as several other Hazzard County vehicles and there will even be a rotating schedule for specialty Hazzard vehicles that have never been displayed before.  In the future there are plans for outdoor additions as well that will add to the attraction.  It's going to be awesome.  There are plans to replicate the Hazzard County Garage from the show in one area and Alma even liked my suggestion that the building looks like the Boars Nest.  The soft opening will take place as soon as possible in late November to December, but the grand opening won't be until the spring.

Major Announcement:
Grand Opening for Cooter's In The Country in Luray, VA is set for Saturday May 6, 2017!  There will be music, fanfare, and even a Duke! (Not saying which one yet)  There will be a lot more information to come as we approach the grand opening.

Second Major Announcement:
With the location for Cooter's In the Country in Luray, VA being so big, over 11 acres, the big event scheduled for July 29 and 30, 2016 will be held at Cooter's in the Country in Luray, VA.  Change the mark on you calendars, Hazzard Homecoming 2017: Cooter's Last Stand will now be in Luray, VA!  I can't wait.  More info will be posted on the blog as it unfolds.