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Published: Friday, 2/21/2003

Celebration of automotive industry

Ohio's Bicentennial year will get rolling in Cleveland with a celebration of the state's automotive industry.

The 2003 Greater Cleveland International Auto Show will display a collection of 20 antique cars manufactured in Ohio.

The show opens on Statehood Day, March 1, and runs through March 9.

The Bicentennial car collection, which will be shown together for the first time at Cleveland's I-X Center, includes a 1942 Willys Jeep and a 1955 Willys four-door sedan made in Toledo.

“We think the show is going to be a big draw. It commemorates 200 years of statehood and 100 years of auto shows in Cleveland,” said Gary Adams, president of the Greater Cleveland Auto Dealer Association. “We've put together what we think is a pretty exciting display.”

Local historians will be on hand to answer questions from visitors at the show.

Some of the cars on exhibit will be on display in a pair of Ohio antique car road rallies. Several vehicles will depart from Cleveland in July and travel along the old U.S. highway system, visiting Toledo, Dayton, and Columbus. A second tour beginning in August will make stops in eastern Ohio.

The cars might make a cameo appearance at the Huntington Cleveland Harborfest, which begins on July 9 with a parade of Tall Ships.

Harborfest concludes July 13 with a Bicentennial birthday party celebration, featuring The Tower City Chorus, a local group, will perform songs with bicentennial themes.

They say the heart of rock 'n`and roll is in Cleveland, so, appropriately, starting in April the story of Ohio's impact on popular music will be featured at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Also at the hall of fame will be a special exhibit called “Hang on Sloopy: The Music of Ohio,” which will show the history of Ohio pop music with instruments, costumes, original recordings, films, and photographs.

Meanwhile, the Cleveland Play House will present a musical about the glory days of the Ohio Canal in the mid-1800s. Singin' on the Ohio, which runs from April 22 to May 18, targets students in grades four through seven.

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