Summer Kickoff


It’s almost mid-May, and for Sandpoint residents that means it’s time for the unofficial kickoff to summer! Dust off those penny loafers and saddle shoes and prepare to enjoy a very special Sandpoint tradition. It’s a time of year we all look forward to, no matter what our age; a time to turn back the clocks to a simpler time.

Lost in the ‘50s is celebrating its 32nd year, and it promises to be better than ever. Thanks to the dedication and hard work of Sandpoint resident Carolyn Gleason and her countless volunteers, it continues to be a favorite of many near and far.

Lost in the ‘50s will take place during the traditional third weekend in May. Dubbed Sandpoint’s biggest party of the year, it is a time to turn back the hands of time and revel in what was a simpler time. And when it came to music, it was a time that will go down in history. The music in the early 1950s was very similar to that of the 1940s. But then “it” happened—Elvis came on the scene. He, along with entertainers such as Chuck Berry, Chubby Checker and Little Richard, introduced a new style of music. Rock ‘n’ roll was born.

Sandpoint’s celebration has been a favorite of many over the past three decades. With everything from vintage cars to musical entertainment, young and old don their poodle skirts and penny loafers to enjoy the celebrations. Music fills the streets, and the mood is festive.

This year’s festivities will begin Thursday, May 18, at the Bonner County Fairgrounds with Rock ‘n’ Roll Heaven. A sellout nearly every year, this event is the official kickoff to Lost in the ‘50s weekend. Performing this year are Ryan Pelton as Elvis, Stin Ray Anthony as Richie Valens and Lance Lipinsky as Jerry Lee Lewis. There will also be a new band called The Lovers that promises to be a great time.

Friday, the streets of Downtown Sandpoint will fill up as the parade, which begins at the Sandpoint High School parking lot, delights any age. Even if you are not a car enthusiast, you cannot help but be drawn to the roar of the engines and the colorful cars that cruise the streets.

After the parade, you can either attend the street dance downtown or head up to the Bonner County Fairgrounds to dance the night away. At the fairgrounds, you will be entertained by Shirley Alston Reeves, the original lead singer of The Shirelles, singing songs that will take you back in time. Also appearing will be Tommy Mara and the Crests, and Sandpoint’s favorite—Rocky and the Rollers.

Saturday offers a chance to stroll through downtown and view all the classic cars that line the streets. It is an opportunity to visit with the owners and see the cars up close as music from another era adds to the festive atmosphere.

If you find yourself wanting a classic of your own, the Sandpoint High School football team will be wearing their jerseys and strolling the streets of downtown offering raffle tickets for a $5 donation with a chance to win a 1966 Ford Mustang “C” series car.

This is the team’s annual fundraiser, and they are grateful to the Lost in the ‘50s crew for partnering with them.

“The drawing will be May 21 at Second Avenue Pizza,” said Head Coach George Yarno, who is in his second year at Sandpoint High School. “The winner does not need to be present to win.”

Saturday evening offers another opportunity to dance and be entertained at the Bonner County Fairgrounds. In what promises to be an incredible show, The Righteous Brothers will bring their classics such as “You’ve Lost that Lovin’ Feelin’” and “Unchained Melody” as they entertain the crowd. Get your tickets early so you don’t miss out!

Of course, Lost in the ‘50s weekend would not be the same without the traditional Aspirin Rally-Run. On Sunday morning at 10am, this 5k fun run and car rally begins at Second Avenue Pizza in Sandpoint. Co-sponsored by the Cardio Junkies, this event features prizes, trophies, food and drink; another weekend favorite.

For dance tickets, call 208.265.5678 or 208.263.9321, or go to Second Avenue Pizza located at 215 Second Ave.

No matter what your age, be sure to stop by one of the many Lost in the ‘50s events. You’ll be glad you did!

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