Ebensburg’s 15th annual Wheels & Wings event promises to carry on its themes of good food, live music and a showcase of the region’s sharpest cars, trucks and motorcycles.
Each year, the event kicks off Johnstown’s Thunder in the Valley motorcycle rally as visitors begin to trickle into the area.
This year’s edition of the event will start with a wing-off between local restaurants and food vendors at 4:30 p.m. Thursday.
A panel of local judges will award the best hot wing, best sweet and spicy wing and most creative wing recipe.
In previous years, judges picked the best wings, a runner-up and the winner of a spirit award, said Danea Koss, director of community development for Ebensburg Borough.
Approximately 12 food vendors and/or restaurants will sell wings and additional food items from 5 to 10 p.m. along West Sample Street, while Dauntless Fire Company, Castle Pub and Ebensburg Main Street Partnership will sell adult beverages.
New this year is Pit Stop 271 of Nanty Glo, Koss said. Returning local restaurants include Castle Pub, Our Station House, The Grove and Rik-N-Nik’s.
Aside from food vendors and restaurants, Koss said the event allows local civic organizations and other businesses to attract customers.
“That’s why we do it,” she said.
“We always have a good turnout.”
Ebensburg Main Street Partnership will once again sell Wheels & Wings T-shirts, featuring a new logo design and other merchandise at their booth along West Sample Street.
A cash raffle offering $5 tickets for four chances at $500 will also continue this year, Koss said, after it was added to last year’s event.
This year’s event will also feature live entertainment from HABATAT, a psychedelic rock and funk group that tours the Pittsburgh region playing its original songs and ballads.
HABATAT will perform from 6 to 9:30 p.m. on a stage at the intersection of Center and Sample streets. The band’s local ties and unique vibe attracted the event’s entertainment committee to choose them, Koss said.
“Their sound was a good fit for Wheels & Wings,” she said. “We try to change it up a little every year.”
Vehicle registration for the car, truck and motorcycle show will also begin at 4:30 p.m. the day of the event. Only the first 250 vehicles will be registered and the first 150 registered will receive dash plaques sponsored by Roundhouse Harley-Davidson. Registration is $7, and vehicles will enter at the corner of Caroline and High streets.
Vehicles will be judged by classes, including one truck class; three bike classes: sport, cruiser and custom; and five car classes: pre-’50s, ’50s, ’60s, ’70s and ’80s and later.
A panel of judges will award trophies to the top three vehicles in each category and a best of show award will be given to one car, truck and motorcycle.
Awards will be announced at 8:30 p.m. from the entertainment area.
Shuttles to and from downtown Ebensburg and the American Legion Fairgrounds will take place from 5:30 to 10:30 p.m., sponsored by First Student.
The Cambria Summit chapter of American Bikers Aimed Toward Education (ABATE) will hold its 13th annual Bike Fest at the fairgrounds from Thursday through Saturday.
Along with several food and merchandise vendors, the chapter has secured several entertainment acts throughout the event, which is for those 21 and older.
From 8 to 11 p.m. Thursday, This Albatross will perform.
On Friday, Last Chance Band will play from 6 to 9 p.m., Hair Force One will play from 9 p.m. to midnight, and Matt Pletcher will perform from midnight to 2 a.m.
On Saturday, Buzz on 27 will play from 6 to 9 p.m., followed by Giants of Science from 9 p.m. to midnight, and Matt Pletcher from midnight to 2 a.m.