Syracuse Nationals returns to fairgrounds

Want to meet the Fonz?

Along with thousands of cars and hundreds of vendors, television's Henry Winkler will be attending Syracuse Nationals this year. Syracuse Nationals, a huge car and truck show, runs July 18 to 20 at the Fairgrounds.

Winkler, star of the popular Laverne and Shirley and Happy Days, will be present all three days. Visitors can meet him from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday.

Advance tickets for Syracuse Nationals are available for purchase from Advance Auto Parts and Nice N Easy Grocery Shoppes until July 17. Adult tickets are $16 at the gate, $12 for advance sale; children's tickets (ages 6 to 12) are $8 at the gate, $6 for advance sale. Campsites are available on the Fairgrounds starting July 13.

The event features a number of different events for all ages. Aside from the vendors, the event showcases cars and trucks. Friday and Saturday at 9:30 p.m. there will be fireworks at the grandstand.

Bob O'Connor, director of the Right Coast Association, which organizes the Syracuse Nationals, said it has also expanded its "Women's World" building, which includes everything from arts and crafts to make-up vendors. As most people come to the car shows as couples, Nationals is seeking to give women with other interests something else to do.

Friday night will feature figure eight racing on the dirt track, followed by a demolition derby in front of the grandstand. Saturday features mini-modified tractor pulling. Snowmobile racing will be highlighted from 12 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, O'Connor said.

Every night at the grandstand features burnouts and flamethrowers from 5 to 9:30 p.m., machines capable of throwing flames high into the air. "It really is spectacular," O'Connor said.

Also on Saturday night, a Dinner Dance will be held from 5 to 9 p.m. The cost is $24 for members or $29 for non-members. Music will be provided by the Ruby Shooz.

Syracuse Nationals will feature live music all three nights, including the Fab Cats, Crown Royals, Krypton 98, Soul Risin', the Gary Dunes Band, Media Mayhem, Christian Rodders and Ruby Shooz. For more information, including a complete schedule of events, visit rightcoastcars.com/shows/syn/index.html.

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