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Thursday Thunder draws a crowd

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TUNES: The Gem City Band entertained the crowd Thursday evening at Veteran's Park.
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FOOD: Thursday Thunder treated locals to beautiful cars, live music, fresh produce, art vendors and, of course, food hot off the grill.
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THURSDAY THUNDER: Frankfort's bi-weekly car show drew a crowd thanks to dry weather Thursday evening around Veteran's Park where Main Street meets West Washington.
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CHROME: Hot rods, customs and gorgeous vintage cars line the street for Frankfort's traditional, summer-long car show.

By AARON KENNEDY - akennedy@ftimes.com

The weather finally cooperated long enough for the Clinton County Chamber of Commerce and Frankfort Main Street to host Thursday Thunder, and it drew a crowd to Veteran’s Park to enjoy a live band, the farmer's market, various other vendors, and an assortment of colorful cars, hot rods, trucks and motorcycles along Washington and Main.

“I think everybody has been itching to get out,” said Shan Sheridan, executive director of the CCCC. “The rain has been keeping people (away). We have such great car enthusiasts in Clinton County and all around the region. We have cars from Tipton, Kokomo, Lafayette, some Delphi folks and, of course, our Clinton County people. They have been waiting to get out. The rain had certainly been keeping them at bay, but we have some great market people, and it is just a beautiful night and a lot of fun. Food, fun and friends.

“It is a great family experience and a great night to come enjoy the market and some of these great, incredible automobiles that are fascinating and have such great stories behind them, especially if you get a chance to sit down and talk to the owners,” he added.

Unlike in years past, the local farmer’s market has been added to the bi-weekly Thursday tradition, and non-food-related vendors have also signed up.

“This is the first year that we have incorporated our local farmer's market, and we are very excited,” Sheridan said. “I think we had nine vendors signed up for tonight. They are out selling their wares tonight, and they are going to do that every Thursday Thunder. We are opening it up to anybody who wants to come out, be a part of the marketplace and let people see their stuff.”

Sheridan hopes that having the market move to Thursdays to join the car show will bring more people in.

“The market had been on Saturday mornings. It was struggling over the years to really be what I think it could be, but there is so much competition on Saturday’s for markets and farmer’s markets. This is a Thursday night, so hopefully it will be a situation where folks from other communities come out here because it is on Thursday.”

One of the groups that signed up to have a place in the park during Thursday Thunder was Frankfort United Neighborhoods, more commonly known as its acronym, FUN.

“I think it is good any time you can bring the community together, especially since the market uptown on Saturdays I don’t think was doing that well,” said FUN member Larry Laughner Jr. “So, I think bringing it together with Thursday Thunder was a great idea. It seems like a good crowd tonight, so I think overall it is really good.”

The event gives FUN the chance to inform more locals about their organization which plans free community events that are, well, fun. For example, A FUN Bicycle Race and safety event is 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. today at Frankfort’s Circle Park.

“The big thing is if you can add to something else that is going on, it is just more people that we can reach out to and see what we are doing,” Laughner Jr. said. “Every event we do is free to the community, and this just helps us grow as a group.”