By DON FLETCHER
News Staff Writer
Friends and family members of the late Ewing Darrell “Bubba” Ardis, those from the area and those from across the U.S., will gather this weekend in the tiny Lotte community for the fifth annual tribute to the car enthusiast, who passed away in July 2018, just as the first tribute was beginning.
Bubba Cruz 5, this year’s event, is a two-day affair that will take place this Friday and Saturday, July 15 and 16, with the action beginning at 8 a.m. each day and lasting “until.” Admission — for one day or two — is $20 per person.
Food vendor Sneaky Creek will be onsite Friday, with another vendor to offer its wares on Saturday.
Thomas Ardis said Friday’s daytime highlight would come around noon when “probably 80 to 100” car owners — some in classic vehicles, others in street models, but most in pieced-together “rat rods” — travel in a parade from Lotte Road Kustoms to Creek Travel Plaza, then through downtown Atmore on their way to the traditional lunch at David’s Catfish House.
Ardis is expected to lead the parade in the 1955 Chevy he and a handful of friends rehabilitated prior to the 2018 event for what was planned as Bubba’s “last ride.” After the caravan returns to the memorial site, he said, “the burnout pad will be open, and a deejay will play music into the night.”
Saturday’s schedule is action-packed, with a car show, a burnout contest, games for the kids, music from the 3-Legged Dog band, and even a wedding.
Ardis, who organized the salute to his brother, said one attendee has already arrived from western Kentucky for this year’s party. Those who attended last year came from several points in Lower Alabama and northwestern Florida, as well as from Mississippi, Louisiana and Georgia.
“We hope to have a lot of folks,” he said. “We always have a good time, and we invite the public to come celebrate Bubba’s life with us.”