For 9 years now I’ve been spending the first weekend of each May in a tiny town in Dewey, OK. I first saw the listing for the Stray Kat 500 in the back of a magazine in the upcoming events section in 2009. I was looking for more traditional styled hot rod and custom car events in my area, and at the time I wasn’t finding too many. Unfortunately for me it was June and the show had just happened.
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So in June of 2009 I went down to Fort Scott, KS to attend the Stray Kat Kustoms Rocket Show, put on by the same folks that did the Stray Kat 500. Later that year I attended the Stray Kat Starliner show in Wichita, KS, after both of those I decided that I’d definitely attend the SK500 the next year. Up to this point I was going into shows, not really talking to anyone, shooting a bunch of photos and posting them online afterwards. I had no idea what I was missing.
The next year I made some friends on the way to Viva Las Vegas, and it changed my life forever, starting with the 2010 Stray Kat 500. The whole story can be read here.
The Stray Kat Kustoms family has many members and I’m honored to be considered part of the family. For years I’ve described the SK500 as a family reunion where nobody is related to you but they all have cool rides, there just isn’t any way to describe it any better.
The 2019 version of the event was a great time spent with old friends and new friends, capped off with getting to follow my Lonely Knights car club family back home after the event. After the more than 100,000 miles going to shows over the years almost always by myself, it was great to spend a couple of hundred miles with great friends on the road.
After a work thing made me 24 hours later arriving than I wanted to be, I was excited to get the weekend started when I hit town at 9pm on Friday. It had been a long day and some friends and I spent some time hanging in the parking lot of the host hotel before catching a few hours of sleep.
Saturday started early, the Lonely Knights met up for breakfast at 6:30 before heading over to the event. We gathered up at the show and watched the cars roll in. Cars from across the region and as far away as Edmonton, Alberta, Canada flowed in to the small town. With a rainy week leading up to the event and early forecasts of rain the numbers were impressive at nearly 500 cars, but in the end I’d rather have the right 100 cars than have the wrong 2,000.
Saturday evening every restaurant in Bartlesville had great cars in their parking lots, everyone gathered up with their friends and had meals before going back to the hotels for more hanging out. It’s those hours spent talking with rarely seen friends that mean the most at the Stray Kat events.
Sunday the folks that are still in town gather back up at the show for the Blessing Of The Rides, then the awards start at 11. The show doesn’t give the normal awards out but that means that the ones that do get given out actually mean something.
A little after noon 7 cars from the Lonely Knights rolled out. It was a complete blast watching the killer kustoms crossing the hills of southeast Kansas. After 4 hours of driving they rolled on as I flashed my headlights and took the exit off of I-135 to head the last 10 miles back to my house.
It was a great weekend. I highly recommend that you join us next time!
See you at a show,
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