BY MELANIE BUCK –
Approximately 200 hot rods are expected to roll into Mena for the 40th Annual Street & Performance Queen Wilhelmina Rod Run, one of the area’s longest-standing and much anticipated events for car enthusiasts. The event will kick off on Friday, August 28, and continue through Saturday, August 29.
This year will be unlike the 39 events before it as it will be the first without its founder, Mark Campbell. Campbell, the legendary owner and founder of Street and Performance, lost his life to pancreatic cancer in April and his family is keeping their promise to host the 40th year of the popular event to honor his memory and legacy.
The family stated that it will be a very special memorial and tribute to a very iconic man in the industry and community. His daughter Tammy explained that the family discussed it with him before he passed and he very much wanted them to celebrate the event’s 40th year, “As hard as it is going to be to do this without him,” Tammy said, “we’re going to because it was so important to him.”
The “Mena Bunch,” a group of dedicated volunteers who have worked with Street & Performance owners Mark and Lisa Campbell for almost four decades in hosting and organizing the event, says the event is much like a “family reunion” for participants. All proceeds from the event will benefit “Our Promise” Cancer Resources at the Genesis Cancer Center in Hot Springs.
The event kicks off on Friday, August 28th, at the KCS Depot on Sherwood Street, where an average of 200 hot rods and street rods will be on display.
Saturday, rods will be on display on top of Rich Mountain at Queen Wilhelmina State Park during the day and will make their way to South Mena Street (next to Washburn’s) for the Downtown Street Dance and Concert (sponsored by Mena Advertising and Promotion Commission). This year’s line-up of music is sure to bring a huge crowd, with Randal VonButte live at 7 p.m. followed by the Mayor’s Choice Awards, special awards, and announcements from 8 – 8:30 p.m. and Polk 74 will entertain the crowd from 8:30 p.m. – 10 p.m. Concessions will be available Saturday night.