Winter Angel Car Show returns

Cars from all over East Tennessee and beyond will be showcased during the Winter Angel Expo Car Show at the Great Smoky Mountain Expo Center in White Pine. This year’s version will be held on Saturday and Sunday. The event will feature cars, motorcycles and tractors, as well as a model car show.

Fans of cars, big and small, will make their yearly pilgrimage to the Great Smoky Mountain Expo Center in White Pine on Saturday and Sunday to see vehicles from the past and present.

Presented by the Hamblen County Car Club, the seventh version of the Lakeway Area Winter Angel Expo Car Show will be replete with cars, trucks, motorcycles and tractors from all eras.

The event runs on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is $5 per adult, and children under 12 get in free. Before the Sunday show, there will be a morning devotional at 9 a.m.

“It’s made to be a family-oriented event for everyone,” said Hamblen County Car Club President and event co-coordinator Guy Leolich. “It’s got a little for everyone to see.”

Despite heavy rain predicted for the area on Saturday – and cold temperatures on Sunday - the event will be warm and dry inside the Expo Center.

“It’ll be indoors and heated,” Leolich said. “You won’t have to worry about weather, or cold or anything like that.”

Over 100 vehicles were in attendance at last year’s event, with awards based on best-in-show, people’s choice, as well as first and second-place trophies.

“We have some (cars and trucks) from all over East Tennessee, some from Kentucky – and even a couple from Virginia and Ohio,” said event co-coordinator Dick Valentine. “We have an award for longest distance for these cars as well.”

There will also be an award handed out for classic motorcycles, which Valentine said he is looking forward to.

“We have a vintage motorcycle club that will be there, weather permitting,” he said. “I’m hoping there are a couple of Indians in there.”

One of the more anticipated sections of the expo is the model car show, which will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday. Participants travel from all over Tennessee, as well as Ohio, Kentucky, Virginia, Georgia and the Carolinas, to compete for prizes and awards.

“It’s impressive. We have cars coming from more places than the regular cars,” Valentine said. “It’s worth the price of admission alone.”

“There’s a tremendous following for model cars,” Leolich said. “It’s amazing some of the work that goes into the model cars.

“People come from all over to see the model cars.”

For the second year, the Winter Angel Expo will have live music on the first day, with acts such as Nautilus, Tracy Cochran, Tommy White, Highway 4:16 – and even an Elvis impersonator – among other entertainers. There will also be a silent auction and a 50-50 drawing with proceeds going to Lakeway Area childrens’ charities.

“Elvis will be in the building,” Valentine said. “The goal is to basically broaden the interest in the show and bring in people who aren’t usually interested in car shows.”

“We had some live music last year. This year, we have a variety of artists come in, most of them local,” Leolich said. “We’re going to have artists who play gospel, country, rock, jazz and blues music.

“We want to make sure folks get plenty of entertainment.”

Even though there are already plenty of volunteers signed up for the expo, Leolich said more can always can be used.

“There have been a ton of volunteers that put in a lot of work (getting this together),” he said. “There are at least 20 people who made this car show successful, and we can use at least 20 more.”

There is time for exhibitors to register their vehicles for the Winter Angel Expo. Pre-registration runs from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. through Friday, and costs $20. Vehicles can be registered on Saturday until noon for $25.