Lake of the Ozarks, Mo. - Two giant car shows, plus a few flashy new accessories, equal one awesome weekend. The automotive fun is set for May 4-6 at Central Missouri's Lake of the Ozarks, as the Lake Area Chamber of Commerce hosts the 24th Annual Magic Dragon Street Meet Nationals presented by O'Reilly Auto Parts and the 2nd Annual Generation NEXT Magic Dragon.
The Magic Dragon Street Meet on the historic Bagnell Dam Strip in Lake Ozark is a car show for classic automobile enthusiasts, featuring vehicles of all makes and models. The GenNEXT car show is next to heaven for modern car fans, with plenty of tricked-out custom import and domestic tuner cars on display.
"The Magic Dragon Street Meet is like stepping onto the set of the movie American Graffiti with tons of classic cars of all makes and models," said Magic Dragon Chairman Alan Sullivan. "GenNEXT is more like a living, breathing version of the movie The Fast and the Furious with lots of sleek modern cars with custom interiors and systems. It's a fun way to spend a weekend with the family and it's absolutely free to attend."
The Magic Dragon takes place May 4 (Friday), noon-5 p.m.; May 5 (Saturday), 8 a.m.-8 p.m.; and May 6 (Sunday), 8 a.m.-1 p.m. The GenNEXT show is at the Prewitt's Point Shopping Center (Jr. Prewitt Parkway) in Osage Beach on May 5 (Saturday) only, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. The awards ceremonies for both events are on May 5 (Saturday) - at 4 p.m. for GenNEXT and at 6:30 p.m. for the Street Meet.
"These two shows pretty much kick off the event season at the Lake," said Sullivan. "It's a festive atmosphere - there's music, there's all the beautiful cars, trucks and, of course, with each vehicle, there's a story. I just love to hear how someone found an old rust bucket in grandma's pasture and then restored it into a piece of automotive art."
Last year's two-site spectacular boasted an event-record 1,120 vehicles, hosted over 10,000 spectators and is still the largest show of its kind in Central Missouri. This year, organizers plan to keep the momentum going, scheduling an abundance of old favorites and new events to appeal to the whole family.
"We just keep growing and growing," said Sullivan. "In appreciation of our fans, we've added a lot of new events and we've tried to bring back all of the favorite events people enjoyed in the past."
The Magic Dragon show's new attractions include a new "Exclusive Cars" display area (featuring an up-close look at several rare Ferraris and other posh, high-dollar luxury automobiles) and an "Engine Blow Raffle." The raffle, sponsored by Precision Auto, allows visitors to the Magic Dragon to pay $1 per guess and speculate when an old engine, running without oil, will blow out. At 4 p.m. on Saturday, the old engine will be carted out and fired up. All of the oil will be drained out of the engine and then the spectators will gather to see how long it will last.
At GenNEXT, the new events on the schedule are a pair of car competitions, a Decibel Drag (a loudest stereo contest) and a Slow Drag (a drag race where the object is to be the last car across the finish line).
As far as old favorites are concerned, the Friday Night Fever Cruise - an automobile parade featuring a majority of all the classic and custom cars - is back and is expected to be bigger than ever. The Cruise begins at Christ the King Lutheran Church (1700 Bagnell Dam Blvd.) at 6 p.m., heads across the Dam and loops back to the Strip down Bagnell Dam Boulevard.
The popular "Make and Take" model car promotion (sponsored by Hawken Carstar) is back and starts at 10 a.m. on Saturday. The first 75 children who visit The White House on Bagnell Dam Boulevard can put together a 1963 Corvette Stingray Coupe model and take it home free of charge.
If you're considered too old to take home a model car, the Daybreak Rotary organization also is offering a brand-new 2012 Chevy Camaro RS for its Annual Auto Raffle. Tickets for the raffle are $20 each and only 2,000 of these raffle tickets will be sold at the Street Meet. The drawing takes place at Luby's Stage (1359 Bagnell Dam Blvd.) on Saturday at 8 p.m. and the car will be on display throughout the event at the stage area.
In addition to all the classic and custom car-gazing at the show, there will also be food, vendors, demos, displays, interactive exhibits, on-site DJs playing music at each event and much more fun for the whole family.
For a small donation to local youth organizations, public parking for the Street Meet is available at local churches or at the campground just below Bagnell Dam. Free shuttles are provided for patrons to and from the parking lots throughout the Street Meet.
For more information about the Magic Dragon Street Meet or Generation NEXT Magic Dragon, call 800-451-4117, visit MagicDragonCarShow.com or "like" the show's Facebook page.