Community ready for antique buses

Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Ghosts of Highway 61 Antique Bus Tour is next weekend and a number of local organizations are pitching in to help Main Street Blytheville make the tour an outstanding event for both tour participants and the community.

With at least 60 antique Greyhound buses rolling into town, this tour will be the largest in event history, according to Tom McNally, tour organizer, who began putting the events together in 2006. With people coming in from across the country, Blytheville was chosen for this year's tour destination largely because of the Greyhound Bus Station's central location in the country and the vast restoration it has undergone over the last few years.

The weekend-long event is set for Thursday through Saturday, with private events for tour participants throughout the weekend as well as a number of things that are open to the entire community such as:

-- Memphis recording artist Sonny Mack from 7-10 p.m. on Saturday.

-- The Midsouth Greyhound Adoption Option from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturday.

-- Antique Greyhound Bus parade beginning at 3 p.m. on Saturday.

Those with the tour will be able to attend a meet-and-greet event sponsored by the Greater Blytheville Area Chamber of Commerce, an old-fashioned soda jerk station, a pancake breakfast sponsored by First Lutheran Church and several other events.

Main Street Blytheville Executive Director Megan Atzert said a large amount of work has gone into making this tour a successful event, particularly for the 60 antique Greyhound buses that will be rolling into town throughout the week.

"We want to make this a great event for everyone, but especially for the people on the tour," Atzert said. "We want to make sure we have an second annual bus tour. So we're trying to be very inviting and accommodating."

Several downtown merchants will also be staying open until 8 p.m. Friday, and Palace Ayers and Downtown Deli will stay open until 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, all in effort to make things more accessible for the tour guests.

Atzert said with the buses filling the downtown area, this is going to be a huge sign of hospitality for the city's guests.

"I really want to thank all of the downtown merchants for staying open and all the work the city is doing with us and all of the other organizations that are helping make this a great event," Atzert said.

For more information on the Ghosts of Highway 61 Antique Bus Tour, contact Megan Atzert at