By TESA CULLI
MT. VERNON —
A group of 125 muscle cars, and 200 people will be “East Bound and Down” stopping in the King City for the Bandit Run on April 12.
“They’ve been recreating the “Smokey and the Bandit” run for several years, the Restore Muscle Car group out of Lincoln, Neb.,” Tourism Director Bonnie Jerdon said. “They were looking for a different route between there and Georgia, and they went to a map. They knew they needed a break after St. Louis, but wanted to be out of the city. They wandered their finger down the Interstate and called us.”
The group will leave Lincoln, Neb., on April 11, traveling to Braselton, Ga., a recreation of the trip taken in the first “Smokey and the Bandit” movie. In the cult-classic movie, Bandit — played by Burt Reynolds — and Cletus — played by Jerry Reed — are truck drivers who accept a dare from Big Enos and Little Enos to pick up a truckload of Coors beer and get it east in a specified amount of time. Bandit picks up Carrie — played by Sally Field — a hitchhiking bride-to-be who just left her groom, Junior, who happens to be the son of Sheriff Buford T. Justice. The two go on a high speed pursuit southeast to catch up with Bandit, Cletus and Carrie.
“The group does an eight day trip, they travel together and stay in the same hotels,” Jerdon said. “In Mt. Vernon, the Holiday Inn is sponsoring their trip, and in each city they also do some sort of event. We’re very happy to have them find us.”
Jerdon said the public is invited to see the cars and the semi trailer that travels with the group. This year marks the 30 anniversary of “Smokey and the Bandit” and plans are underway to hold a viewing of the movie at the Granada Center for the Performing Arts.
“It’s going to be a fun time,” Jerdon predicted. “There will be a lot of nice people and a fun evening.”