Hello, everyone! It’s Retro Dee and I’m super excited to bring you my report on Peggy Sue’s Cruise 2019!
But first, a little history: Peggy Sue’s Cruise is a car show, contest and parade held annually in Santa Rosa, CA. The first part of the event is held at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds, where the cars are parked for judging. The second half of the event begins around 5pm when the judging is over and the cars cruise down 4th street for spectators to cheer on and enjoy.
2019 was the 17th Annual Peggy Sue Cruise and Car Show and the 3rd year we went to see the parade of classic beauties cruise down 4th street.
Of the 3 years I’ve gone to Peggy Sue’s, each one is different, both in my personal experience as well as the event itself. For example, this year I was feeling under the weather with a slight fever. It took me all day to decide if I would actually go. It would have been easier to just stay home, but I knew I’d regret missing the one day I could see my favorite cars from the 50’s cruise through town. And not only that, I had the perfect dress for it! I simply HAD to go!
Once we parked and walked into Courthouse Square, I could already feel the excitement. I began to forget about not feeling 100%. We went for an early dinner at Beer Baron, which is on the corner of 4th and Courthouse Square. It’s a lively restaurant with an adorable staff — perfect for a day downtown!
Beer Baron has a specialty: fried barbecue pork nuggets. It sounds disgusting, but they’re really delicious. I was eating one when some of the barbecue sauce dripped onto my pristine, vintage 1950’s Betty Barclay dress. 60+ years and it managed to stay new-looking and clean and I go and drop barbecue sauce on it. Yes, I had a napkin in my lap, but of course the sauce missed it. Good news is, it blended into the gingham. I’m a slob, but you’d never know it. That is, unless you read this blog. 🙂
At 5:19, I left the table and went outside. I stood on the sidewalk with the other folks, excitedly waiting for the cars to emerge. But something was different– above the sounds of the revving engines, I heard music coming from about half a block away. Could it be, that they finally decided to have music at Peggy Sue’s Cruise?
As I pondered this, a tattooed fella approached me and said, “Is there a certain car you’re planning on jumping in?”
I was one of the few people watching the parade dressed in 1950’s attire and probably one of three people on the entire street dressed in actual vintage clothing. The handsome tattooed fella continued, “You look amazing. I love the way you’re dressed.”
Now, mes amies let me let you in on a little secret. I’m very shy. Online I might look like a big ham, but in reality I’m super introverted. Although I like getting compliments, I get very flustered when I receive them in person. I smiled shyly and said, “Aww, thank you!”
The tattooed fella and his buddy were on their way as engines began to roar and exhaust fumes filled the air. The cruise began with less fan fair than last year’s, but there was still the same thrill present in both the spectators and the drivers themselves. Something about when the cars begin rolling down 4th street is mesmerizing. It’s like everyone is drawn into a different time, and they’re all happy to be there.
This year the weather was hot, but thanks to a good dry wind, it kept the temperature bearable. Although, there were a few times I had to hold my dress down so it wouldn’t blow up!
My Mom joined me on the sidewalk, looking beautiful in her black and white polkadot outfit topped with a black vintage circa 50’s hat that I’d purchased a few months ago. She can really put an outfit together, and looked amazing!
I began trying to photograph the cars; I emphasize the “trying”. At that hour the way the sun was, I couldn’t see my screen, so for the most part I was just blindly snapping photos! Fortunately, I was getting better pics than I thought:
We spectators on the street were not the only ones taking pics! People in the cars were taking pictures of us, too! Gee, I hope my hair was alright! 🙂
Then, something above our heads caught my eye. I looked up and it was one of those super-creepy drone things. You know I’m truly a retro gal because those things freak me the hell out. Who’s flying it? Is it watching us? What does it want?!! It’s just way too freakin’ Sci-Fi for me. It hovered directly over our heads and I didn’t know whether to laugh or hide. I felt like I was on the set of one of those Sci-Fi movies from the 50’s! The drone moved on to hover over some of the cars. I was glad to see it go.
Classic Chevys were not the only cool cars in the cruise! As if this old time Fire Engine wasn’t amazing enough on its own, when it passed, I saw it had a sign on it:
I could hardly contain my excitement. The movie Peggy Sue Got Married has a special meaning to me (which will be explained in an upcoming “This Time It’s Personal” segment, so stay tuned!) To see the fire truck that was featured in the movie just thrilled me.
Next, my Mom and I decided to walk down the street a-ways. We saw a portable studio for 102.7 FM. I was right, there WAS music! The Wolf is a radio station in Sonoma County that plays American Classics from eras gone by, and they were playing 50’s and 60’s music especially for Peggy Sue’s Cruise. I’ve only been to 3 so I can’t say whether or not it’s the first time they had it. The radio station’s car was also part of the parade featuring their Wolf mascot.
The Emcee for The Wolf announced some of the cars and folks clapped as they drove by. Songs like “I’m Walkin'” (Ricky Nelson) “Maybelline” (Chuck Berry) and “Charlie Brown” (The Coasters) played on the radio.
A bit later, it was still warm out and I was getting thirsty, so I decided to get a soda at Ralph’s stand. It’s always there, even on weekdays, but I’ve never gotten anything from them before. A man in a bright orange shirt who might or might not have been Ralph himself complimented me on my look: He said, “Oh, hey! I saw you over there earlier and I like the way you’re dressed,” he said. “You look very 50’s!”
I was probably blushing by then. I humbly thanked him as I struggled to get my sweaty glove off to pay for the soda. I don’t know how ladies wore those gloves in the summertime!
I took my diet Coke and sat down on a bench. 102.7 The Wolf was playing “Cathy’s Clown”. It got stuck in my head for the rest of the day…. and come to think of it, the rest of the weekend. Love you, Don and Phil. 🙂 I was kind of hoping they’d play Buddy Holly and The Crickets, but I probably would’ve screamed like a teenager, and everyone would’ve stopped and stared at me like I was batshit. So it’s a good thing they didn’t. 😀
As I sat on the bench, a gorgeous blue 1957 (I think) Chevy Bel-Air drove by and it looked like this:
I was having such a great time, I forgot that my family was somewhere down the street and were probably looking for me. (No, I didn’t bring a phone!) So I put my gloves back on, got up and headed back towards Beer Baron.
My family was sitting on a picnic bench and my Dad was on his i-phone reading the Top 10 list from Alan Seltzer’s Grooveyard. That week the Top 10 was from June 8, 1961. (each week features a Top 10 list from the good ole days) I had to miss the show this week to go to the cruise, but you can’t have everything!
Here’s one more shot of my true vintage circa 1950’s Betty Barclay dress taken outside of Beer Baron where we ate. (Unfortunately the car behind me is not classic!)
On the way back to the car, I ran into a gal wearing an adorable dress herself! We both complimented each other. She said her dress was vintage and that she could tell mine was also… Yes, there is nothing like true vintage, ladies!
So that’s the cruise! I’m so glad I made it this year, slight fever and all.
Would love to hear from you!
– Retro Dee
I do not get paid or compensated to endorse any companies, products or events. This is only a personal blog.