St. Jude Car Show cruises back after 2020 COVID cancellation

Staff Report
Hundreds of vintage cars adorned the grounds of Mark A. “Tony” Gulotta Waterfront Park for the 23rd annual St. Jude Car Show on Saturday, May 1.

One year after the COVID-19 pandemic put the brakes and the annual St. Jude Car Show, the event returned in high gear.

A large crowd converged at the Mark A. “Tony” Gulotta Waterfront Park on Saturday, May 1 for the 23rd annual St. Jude Car Show.

A selection of classic model Chevrolet Chevelles were on display along Bayou Plaquemine during the 23rd annual St. Jude Car Show.

The annual showcase of cars, food and music was presented by the City of Plaquemine, the Plaquemine Main Street Program, and the Baton Rouge Corvette Club.

It marked the first event along Bayou Plaquemine since the pandemic, and organizers scrambled to get it rolling.

A salute to the 2019 National Champion LSU Tiger football team covered a Chevrolet truck on display at the 23rd annual St. Jude Car Show.

“Once we knew we had the go-ahead, we had to work very hard to make it happen,” Main Street Director Charley Robinson said. “It was very last minute … we had six weeks to put it all together.”

The auto extravaganza featured a total of 260 vehicles, which included cars, trucks, motorcycles, and ATVs from all years.

Vintage-era Corvettes and other classic cars were among the attractions for visitors at the 23rd annual St. Jude Car Show.

The event, which was first held in 1999, was instituted by the late Joe Colletti, a longtime Corvette collector/enthusiast who made annual trips to the St. Jude Children’s Hospital in Memphis, Tenn.

All proceeds from the “Labor of Love” went to the St. Jude Children’s Hospital, which was founded in 1962 by the late actor/comedian Danny Thomas, best known for his starring role in the long-running TV sitcom “Make Room for Daddy,” which aired in the 1950s and ’60s.

Beauty was in the eye of the beholder for some vehicles at the 23rd annual St. Jude Car Show.

Since its inception, St. Jude has treated children from all 50 states and around the world, continuing the mission of finding cures and saving children.

St. Jude's has grown to include eight affiliate hospitals across the United States. It is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with annual expenses, as of 2018, of over $1.4 billion funded by nearly $1.5 billion in donations. Further, the World Health Organization has named St. Jude's as its first "Collaborating Center for Childhood Cancer" to help increase survival rates on rare pediatric cancer from 20 percent to as much as 60 percent by 2030.

COMING ATTRACTIONS … The ease in pandemic restrictions has opened the gates for other events to resume.

Those events include:

  • The 75th annual Cub Scouts Soap Box Derby on May 15.
  • The Plaquemine Lions Club Spaghetti Sale on May 23.
  • The annual Fourth of July celebration.
  • “Bayou Boogie” music events on Sept. 10 and Oct. 8.
  • The “All is Bright” Christmas event on Dec. 4.