June 06--CONNEAUT -- They'll be dancing -- and pedaling -- in the streets of Conneaut this weekend, thanks to two big, back-to-back events that kick off summer in this city.
The ninth annual Sock Hop strolls into the downtown district on Saturday, followed by Sunday's invasion of bicyclists participating in the MS 150 Bike Tour.
A celebration of everything 1950s, the Sock Hop serves up music, contests and a classic car show between 3-9 p.m. The music of the era will be performed by The Kingpins, Remember Then and "Crazy Rhythms" karaoke by Bonnie Lampela on three separate stages.
Hula-Hoop, bubble gum-blowing and best-dressed contests begin at 6 p.m., in front of Huntington Bank, 328 Main St. A 50-50 drawing, door prizes and Chinese auction are also on the schedule. Food will also be sold.
On display will be a variety of vintage vehicles, including cars, trucks and motorcycles. Dash plaques will be given the first 150 vehicles.
The Sock Hop is co-sponsored by State Farm Insurance and WOW radio. In case of rain, the Hop will be held Sunday.
Sunday is also the day more than 1,000 Bike Tour cyclists will be gliding through the city en route to Township Park, the finish line for a two-day event that began in Zelienople, Pa. For many years, the lakefront park has been the final destination of a bicycling fundraiser aimed at eliminating multiple sclerosis.
Participants that wind up in Conneaut began their morning in Meadville, Pa. The event is not a race but a tour, meaning riders will be arriving throughout late morning and into the afternoon.
The Conneaut Board of Tourism is looking for people to welcome the cyclists as they travel through town. They will follow a course that includes Furnace Road, State and Broad streets and finally Lake Road, which leads to the park entrance. Residents are urged to line the streets and greet the riders with signs, cow bells and lung power.
Volunteers are also needed at the park to help load bikes and luggage onto trucks and to serve food.
The tour is a staple on the fundraising cycling circuit. The Bike MS website calls "Escape to the Lake" the "longest running charity bike ride in our area" and expects 1,400 people to participate.
(c)2014 the Star Beacon (Ashtabula, Ohio)
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