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PHOTO COURTESY OF PLANE CRAZY USA

Mena Proudly Welcomes the 38th Annual Queen Wilhelmina Rod Run

BY LEANN DILBECK –

Approximately 200 hot rods are expected again for this year’s 38th Annual Street & Performance Rod Run, one of the area’s longest-standing and much anticipated events for car enthusiasts.  Street rods and muscle cars will begin rolling into town earlier in the week to be ready to “show” for the event kick-off on Friday night.

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, said the event is much like a “family reunion” for participants.

They know the on-going renovation of the Queen Wilhelmina Lodge will change the dynamics of the show a bit. The rods are showcased atop Rich Mountain at the State Park on Saturday.

Friday night will be the first opportunity to view the cars at the KCS Depot on Sherwood Street from 6 pm – 8 pm. Enjoy oncessions and D.J. music during this event.

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).

Organizers promise that this year’s line-up of music is sure to bring a large crowd, with Straight Tequila performing live at 7 pm followed by Lana Gail with Gail Force at 8:30 pm. Concessions will also be available Saturday night.

Straight Tequila is a local duo sure to make you want to dance and sing along. What started out as a couple of guys hanging out in a music store and playing the music they enjoyed listening to, lead to regular jam sessions. These evening jam sessions started to draw an audience so they decided to step out and play for some local venues in Mena. After a few local gigs, the band started getting requests to play Central Arkansas venues and private parties. With a fun mix of 90’s alternative, today’s hits and a few classic rock songs thrown in, Straight Tequila will have you singing along with the band in no time. Having played music for years, both Kevin Sweeney and Tony Robbins continue to keep the music scene fresh and fun.

Lana Gail has been a local favorite for many years and with her band  “Gail Force” behind her, you definitely won’t want to miss this performance. Lana Gail was born in Texarkana, Texas and grew up in Foreman, Arkansas. By age two she was already performing, singing for customers at her parents’ country store. By age ten, she was singing with a band at the Ashdown Jamboree, as well as with her hometown church choir. Her love of performing led to involvement in her high school choir, where she won the National School Choral Award. She traveled extensively with the internationally known Centenary College Choir out of Shreveport, Louisiana, performing in nine countries, including Russia, Norway, Spain, and Switzerland. Lana began recording professionally in Nashville at Red River Studios while singing in local venues. Upon completion of her Master’s program, she moved to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where she was selected as one of the National Anthem Singers for LSU. Lana has been cast in many leading musical roles at the local theatre in Mena, AR. In 2006 she won the local Colgate Country Showdown, and has since become the concert headliner for many local festivals. Lana’s latest adventure in music is with a full backup band, Gail Force, performing a wide variety of music for different events across Arkansas. Band members include Stan Beaver on lead/rhythm guitar and keyboards, James Maestri on bass guitar, Todd Coogan on lead/rhythm guitar, Lucas Hairston on drums/percussion, and Tiffany Lane on keyboards/backup vocals. Together, they produce a sound that encompasses popular favorites from rock, country and current hits that are sure to make you want to get up and dance!