It’s nearly that time of year again when racers can drive their Porsches, Ferraris, Ford GTs and other hot cars as fast as they can on a stretch of highway north of Ketchum with the cops cheering them on.
The fifth annual Sun Valley Road Rally happens this Saturday, but festivities start even sooner with the Ketchum Cruise Parade on Friday.
Owners of hot rods, classics and custom vehicles will show off their machines from 6-8 p.m. in a parade that starts in Ketchum at First Street East and East Avenue. From the starting point, the vehicles will drive to Sun Valley Road, follow it to Dollar Road and from there will get onto Elkhorn Road, staying on it until it loops back and intersects state Highway 75. A parade map shows the parade then heading down the highway and back to the starting point in Ketchum.
About 80 vehicles are expected to enter the parade. The event is free to the public.
Rally sponsors this year are the Blaine County Community Drug Coalition, the Sun Valley Auto Club, Cox Communications, Bugatti, O’Gara Coach, Porsche of Boise and the Blaine County Sheriff’s Office.
Road rally machines will be on display Saturday morning from about 7-8 a.m. at River Run in Ketchum. At 8 a.m., the cars and drivers will get a sheriff’s escort through Ketchum and to the rally site staging area at Baker Creek, to the north on state Highway 75. The race itself, when cars run one at a time to see how fast they can go, takes place on a 3.2-mile section of highway between the Wood River and Cathedral Pines campgrounds.
The rally is scheduled to start at 9 a.m. After each heat, lasting about 20 minutes, the highway will be opened up to let traffic through. The event is expected to wrap up at about noon.
Spectators can watch the event at a viewing area located adjacent to the rally route. There is no parking allowed and the only way to get to the viewing area is by Mountain Rides Transportation Authority bus.
Tickets to the viewing area can be purchased at River Run on Saturday morning. The cost is $10 per individual or $20 per family. The price includes the bus ride. Buses will run to the viewing area from 7:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. from the River Run upper parking lot.
Buses will not be running from Baker Creek. Also, there will be no parking allowed at the Sawtooth National Recreation Area headquarters.
Pets will not be allowed, nor will illegal drugs or alcohol. Spectators are encouraged to bring hats, sunscreen and low-back folding chairs.
Food, snacks, water and other non-alcoholic beverages will be available for purchase at the rally viewing area.
A “VIP street party dinner and auction” is set for Saturday night at the Sun Valley Auto Club at 1930 Electra Lane in Hailey. Tickets are $100 and can be purchased online at the rally website at www.sunvalleyroadrally.com.
Party events include a silent auction, dinner, a program, dancing and gambling.
The Sun Valley Road Rally is the major fundraiser for the Blaine County Community Drug Coalition, an organization that tries to keep youngsters from using drugs and alcohol. As with the past two years, the coalition has purchased a Porsche to be raffled off. This year’s car is a red 2013 Porsche Boxster that has been on display near the Ketchum Town Square.
Tickets can be purchased at the Porsche display, at the rally website or by calling Coalition Executive Director Michael David at 450-9176.
Only 1,200 tickets are being sold at $150 each.
The drawing for the Porsche will take place at the party at Sun Valley Auto Club.