In Altus, Oklahoma, one of the biggest events of the year is the Rockin’ Rumble.
It’s talked up for months. People plan their schedules around it.
What is it? It’s a car show, folks.
The Rockin’ Rumble goes on all weekend, with a bunch of different events for any level of car enthusiast. It’s one of the biggest events of on the Altus calendar every year, and it gets talked about for months beforehand! Most events centered around competitions: stereo soundoff and burnout competition, anyone?
The main event is the cruise. This is exactly what you’re picturing: cars drive the main street of the town, back and forth, for two hours. Crowds cheer and watch, talk about their favorites and wave to anyone they know. Most have staked out spots with camping chairs and coolers that afternoon.
People travel all throughout the region to participate and compete in these weekend car shows. We knew one local guy with a classic car, but tons of locals enter just for the fun of it. Since anyone can enter, the types of cars ran the gamut. Classic cars, rust buckets, farm equipment, antique vehicles, motorcycles, pickup trucks, military vehicles, and unidentified homemade creations all make appearances: a little bit of everything!
The first hour was a more sedate affair, with rules involving no monkey business. But the second hour got more rowdy with burnouts, beads thrown, and driving on two wheels. At one point I even saw a police officer pull someone over; whatever they did must have been really out of control!
For the uninitiated (like me), burnouts are when a car spins its wheels without moving, creating smoke. It’s burning rubber. Burnouts work better with a wet road, and luckily they were hosing down the street right in front of where we sat! So we had front row seats for some pretty insane ones! Pro tip: hold your breath. Whatever you’re inhaling can’t be good for you.
Sitting on the curb put us close enough to the cars to see the drivers, and it was fun to see the spread of people! Some were truly characters: get it, hardcore grandmas! More than one guy showing off for his girlfriend in the crowd (or hoping to find one). A few beauty queens made an appearance, mostly of the Miss Teen Southwest Oklahoma variety. And so.many.children. Pickup trucks full of kids in the backseat. They were having a blast, and it also felt pretty indicative of small town America. Serious competition mixed in with children running everywhere.
We had a blast at the Altus car show! It was fun to be part of an event that’s so significant locally, even if I came into it knowing nothing about cars!
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