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Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014

Antique buses to roll into Blytheville

Thursday, February 7, 2013

(Photo)
A herd of restored antique buses, like this 1956 Greyhound Scenicrusier owned by event organizer and self-proclaimed hobbyist Tom McNally, will make their way to Blytheville for the Ghost of Highway 61 Dixie Tour -- the group's biggest event since its inception. The event is being held April 4-6 and should feature between 30 and 50 of these restored buses.
Main Street Blytheville has teamed up with the Tom McNally's National Antique Bus Show for its Ghost of Highway 61 Tour in April. The weekend-long event is set to be filled with a number of activities for both bus enthusiasts and the public.

McNally started the antique bus tours in 2006 in Laughlin, Nev., with just a handful of buses and is now looking to have the biggest tour yet with this year's destination set for Blytheville, possibly seeing as many as 50 of these restored buses.

"When I did the first (tour) in 2006 we only had six or so buses come out. The next one in 2010 had about 14. This one, though, will be the biggest one by far," McNally said.

Blytheville was chosen for this year's tour destination largely due to the Greyhound Bus Station's central location in the country and the restoration it has undergone over the last few years, according to McNally.

"I was looking for a halfway spot between the mid-west and the west coast. I had been following the restoration on your guys' bus station and wanted a unique spot. When I approached Main Street Blytheville they loved the idea," McNally said, "(The bus station) is a rare thing -- a very unique structure. Few of these old depots have been restored to that extent."

Buses will be pulling into town starting April 4, and will be here through the 6th. During that time there will be a number of activities specifically for the bus owners, as well as activities that will allow the public to get involved including a free bus tour to Graceland.

"The bus owners are providing a free trip to Graceland for the public on that Friday," said MSB executive director Megan Atzert, "All they will have to pay for is their entry to Graceland and their meal."

Throughout the weekend there will also be a flea market featuring items such as bus memorabilia and crafts, outdoor music provided by a live band or a DJ that operates out of one of the buses and a parade that will feature Lady Greyhound, the Greyhound mascot, and the buses which are owned by people from across the country.

"I'm really excited about the parade," Atzert said, "I think that'll really open it up for the public and give them a chance to see all of these restored buses in action."

The Ghost of Highway 61 Tour will be April 4-6. For more information on the weekend's events or to sign up for the trip to Graceland contact Megan Atzert at megan@mainstreetblytheville.com.

cpinkard@couriernews.net.

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