In its fourth year, the annual Potter's Pizza Cars and Stars Car Show and Cruise returns to the Downtown Square Saturday, April 12.

The event will feature a car show with 40 classes of vehicles, prize drawings, family activities and food on the Square, a car cruise, a sock bop at the Steer Bowl and a double-feature movie at Graham Drive-In.

Potter's Pizza owner Henry Potter has been a primary sponsor since its debut, and said that the show is beneficial to Graham in more ways than one.

“It's great for businesses, great for Graham,” he said. “Graham is off the beaten path. Events bring in businesses. These events can bring attention to Graham that's possible for growth.”

The event itself has shown consistent growth, as the number of car show participants have steadily increased every year.

“We are aiming for 300, and if more show up, that would be great,” said event organizer Erin Hawkins of Scene Marketing. 

She said that the event draws in not only local participants, but car show entrants and enthusiasts from Dallas, Fort Worth, Plano, Wichita Falls, Austin, Hamilton. Amarillo, Lubbock and Oklahoma.

Hawkins said that Cars and Stars also helped Graham Drive In win its new digital projector last September.

“Because we have had this event, it helped the drive-in gain more votes,” she said. “All of those people voted, and it helped.”

Steer Bowl Manager Chris Grissom said that the sock hop will bring more attention to the classic entertainment of a bowling alley while supporting a local business.

“It's our first time to jump in and be a part of the car show in Graham,” Grissom said. “If you look at the team, older cars and so forth, it just made sense. It is an older style bowling alley, older wooden lanes, and it ties in with the drive-in as well. It's a part of the older staples in Graham. We wanted to be part of it this year and make the car show more dynamic.”

Graham Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Jennifer Conway said that the Cars and Stars event brings new faces into Graham, as well as additional business to restaurants, hotels and local stores.

“This event is a tremendous benefit to our community in terms of exposure to visitors,” she said. “Last year, that was the fullest I have seen the square for an event in my time here in Graham. The cars displayed wrapped around almost the entire circumference of the square, many filled on both sides. The cars in this event appeal to all types —– modern, classic, monster truck, you name it.”

4th Annual Cars and Stars Event

Car Show

8:30 a.m. — Car show registration, Downtown Square

10 a.m.-4 p.m. — Car show

Noon — Judging; trophies awarded in each class (40 classes total)

4 p.m. — Awards

There will be vendors on the square; prize drawing items available (ticket sales to benefit Virginia's House) live music by Honi Deaton and Dream, Danger*Cakes and The Octanes; photos with pinup models; Mini Cooper prize contest; bounce house for kids; chicken poop bingo


4:15-5:15 p.m. — The Graham Police Department will lead a cruise through Young County through the countryside, passing lakes, Ft. Belknap, Newcastle and Bearville and end at the Steer Bowl.

Sock Hop

4-7 p.m. — Steer Bowl; live music by Brian Lee Dunning's Rock and Roll Trio, bowling in a ‘50's era bowling alley; BYOB; coolers welcome

Drive-In Movie

6:30-7 p.m. — Early VIP access for car show participants (tickets cost $4 for 


7:01 p.m. — Drive-In opens to public, tickets cost $7 for adults; $5 for kids

8:15 p.m. — “Need for Speed” movie begins, second movie to be  determined

Read more in Sunday's Graham Leader.