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. Saturday.
-- The Midsouth Greyhound Adoption Option from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday.
-- Antique Greyhound Bus parade beginning at 3 p.m.Saturday.
In addition to this, Main Street Blytheville Director Megan Atzert said Blytheville residents who are in the downtown area may ask the owners of each individual bus for a tour, but suggests that they first ask for official tour identification.
Atzert said that, if parked end to end, there will be over half a mile of buses parked in the downtown area, with several of them having more than 2 million miles on them. She said when the public comes to view the individual buses, they will see three types of restorations: the purist -- who has tried to authentically restore the bus inside and out; the middle man - who will restore the outside to the best of his or her ability but convert the inside to a motor home; and the realist -- who will make both the inside and outside of the bus as practical as possible, possibly into a motor home both inside and out.
"I really want the public to know that they should come downtown Saturday for the parade, the seven-piece blues band and a meet-and-greet with the Mid-South Greyhound Adoption Option," she said. "I also want to make sure that all of the merchants, the city and the partners in this event are thanked. They have been so great, and I know this event will be successful solely because the entire community has put forth so much effort into making the tour as big and as great as it can be."