Car enthusiasts from 10 states will gather in Oak Ridge from Friday, May 2, to Sunday, May 4, for the sixth annual Mockingbird Run hosted by the Smoky Mountain Classic Thunderbird Club. The Mockingbird Run is expected to bring in more than 60 Thunderbirds for a weekend packed with tours, friendship, and fun.
“We are excited to host this year’s Mockingbird Run, and we encourage the community to welcome the Smoky Mountain Classic Thunderbird Club to town,” Oak Ridge Convention and Visitors Bureau Director Katy Brown said. “We have worked closely with this organization to make this year’s event an entertaining and educational visit.”
Conference planners focused on the “top secret” theme this year in an effort to add mystery and intrigue. Participants will visit local attractions, learn the significance of various historic sites, and dine in local restaurants. Y-12 National Security Complex Historian Ray Smith will guide the group on a tour of the Y-12 New Hope Center and serve as a guest speaker for the event. The club will also tour Oak Ridge National Laboratory on Saturday. Members of the K-9 Search On Site LLP team will also be on hand for a demonstration that morning.
The ORCVB has organized a Secret City-themed poker run to combine the club’s love of cars with the city’s top-secret history. Each driver receives a route designating five different historical stops around the community. Each stop serves a dual purpose by giving participants the opportunity to learn more about the city’s important role in the Manhattan Project and allowing them to draw a card for their poker hand. Participants who collect a card at all five stops will return to the hotel where their hand will be reviewed just as it would in a traditional game of poker. Prizes will be awarded for best hand, among other categories.
A good time for residents to view the unique Thunderbirds will be during a parade drive from the Doubletree Hotel to the New Hope Center at Y-12 at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, May 3. The Oak Ridge Police Department will provide an escort for safety and to help control traffic. Other opportunities to view the cars are available. On Friday evening, the cars will be in the back parking lot at the Doubletree Hotel.
The ORCVB is a local organization formed to strengthen the area economy through the marketing and promotion of Oak Ridge as a destination for sports, meetings, business, and leisure travel. Visit us online at oakridgevisitor.com for more information or call (865) 482-7821.