(Words and photos by Benoit Pigeon) – Star City Motor Madness is a yearly event in the Roanoke Valley in Virginia. Since first started over 15 years ago, this fund raiser for the Transportation Museum located down town has followed the same principle for each edition. Cars show up from all over central and Western Virginia, and as far as Charlotte NC. All proceeds go to the Museum including the event T-shirt sales.
The exhibits cover trains, aviation and automobile including the now restored J-611 locomotive build locally during the hay days of Roanoke’s railroad heritage. These fund raisers help pay for improved exhibits, part of the J-611 restoration cost and even helped pay for a damaged roof years ago after a violent storm. The Museum is located on Norfolk Avenue in Roanoke. While not related, if you come from out of town, check as well the Winston O Link Museum, which is just a short walk away. The Link Museum it self is a piece of history with additional value being not only housed in the old train station downtown, but a building that Raymond Loewy himself designed (and yes, there was an Avanti at the car show as well). Roanoke view from the top of Mill Mountain just below the city’s famous star and just off the blue Ridge Parkway is another popular local stop.
The annual June event is actually put together by local business owners who are car enthousiasts but for the most part not associated with the car industry. This leads to very well planned event and a lot of volunteers. Star City Motor Madness is always on the last weekend of June. The first part of the event is Friday night and consist of a massive cruise and parking from 5pm to 10pm on Williamson Road. Cars come and go all evening. Some cruise all evening, some park during the entire evening and some drive one time up and down Williamson road and are gone for the rest of the night. The next day is the actual show utilizing most of Jefferson street and a couple other adjacent streets. Volunteers are there early and line up the cars right away. The organization has a lot of experience and by 10am the streets are ready for the show with spectators showing up right away. Having the appropriate staff and proper planning have made this event very successful over the years. In fact, from day one, the car show location is the only major detail to have changed by been moving it from the farmer market to Jefferson street.
In 2020, if the organization sticks to the last weekend of June for the 19th edition, the cruise should be on June 26 and the show on June 27th.