- Vintage cars on parade cruisin’ through Sandpoint, gleaming in the sun ...
- Nighttime streets packed with bobby-soxers and cool dudes with slickedback hair, rocking out to Rockin’ Robin...
Yes! You got it on one! It’s time for the 34th Annual Lost in the ‘50s, when the whole town turns out to turn back the clock! Unpack those poodle skirts and penny loafers, and block out the weekend of May 16 through 18. It’s the party of the year—and you’re invited!
In case you wonder how this retro-event started, it was 34 years ago by Carolyn Gleason. With an interesting idea to bring some old-time rock ‘n’ roll to downtown Sandpoint, she organized the very first Lost in the ‘50s. Since this was in the digital dinosaur years of pre-social media, Carolyn actually walked from door to door inviting people with vintage cars to bring them to the event. Today, Carolyn and a ton of volunteers are still the heart and soul of this event as people throng to Sandpoint from all over the world to happily time travel back to “Happy Days” and the Fonz.
The good times start rolling Thursday, May 16, at the Bonner County Fairgrounds as everyone gets to go to Rock ‘n’ Roll Heaven, a packedout show powered by ‘50s rockstar impersonators so authentic you’ll be asking for their autograph! This year Elvis will be there and Jerry Lee Lewis (Lance Lipinsky) is coming, plus other surprise guests! It’s a rockin’ launch for an awesome weekend.
What are the ‘50s without cruisin’ in a very cool car with the engine thrumming and the radio blasting? Friday, May 17, is the Vintage Car Parade! Even if you don’t know a carburetor from a car hop, this parade is amazing! Restored to perfection, high-polished vintage vehicles drive right out of the past and cruise through Downtown Sandpoint, looping first east down Church Street then north up First Avenue and back west up Cedar Street. Pick a spot anywhere along the parade route to watch and wave! Parade starts at 6pm.
When the last car has eased on by, the crowds flow into the street at Second Avenue and Main as the music starts, and its hail, hail rock ‘n’ roll at the famous (free!) Street Dance! Come in costume or come as you are! This year’s DJ is Terry Owens, owner of Sandcreek Sound and a member of the Lost in the 50s' street band for five years. Want to dance some more? Hey, it’s the 50s! Of course there’s more dancing! Check out the Show and Dance at the Bonner County Fairgrounds! Oh, what a Friday Night ... with Charlie Thomas and the Drifters, and Freddie “Boom Boom” Cannon.
Saturday, May 18, it’s the Car Show! Downtown Sandpoint will be filled with hundreds of hot rods and classics shining in the sun, parked all up and down First, Cedar, Main, Second and Third avenues. The crowds are invited to stroll along and see them up close from 9:30am to 3:45pm. Many of the proud owners will be there, and you can get the lowdown on the restoration process. It’s free, of course! And all around there’s the happiness of music, food and fun for everyone.
For the grand finale, catch the Saturday night Show and Dance at the Bonner County Fairgrounds with Little Anthony and the Imperials! The evening is the flourishing finale of a fantastic weekend for everyone 21 and older, with doors opening at 6:30pm.
Just one more shout-out to Carolyn Gleason and her volunteers for another year of Lost in the ‘50s: We’d be lost without you!
If you don’t have tickets for absolutely everything, get them now because there is nothing in this three-day celebration you’ll want to miss. For information, call 208.263.9321.
was the enthusiastic DJ for the Friday night street dance for 25 years! “I think the 25-year mark is a good time to pass the baton, don’t you?” Dan asks as he reminisces over his quarter century of rocking Downtown Sandpoint. “The biggest thing about Lost is Carolyn Gleason, who made this the premier model, the example for anyone who wants to do such an event,” says Dan. “Everybody goes, everybody belongs, and that is what community is all about. A Lost costume is so simple: jeans, sneakers, white socks, T-shirt. For girls it can just be a scarf. Everybody goes, everybody belongs, and that is what community is all about.”
The question becomes, is there room in his chest for a heart so big? A lifelong volunteer, Dan was Citizen of the Year 2005. His life brims with what he calls “collectible” family: people he has worked with side by side through the years in a vast range of volunteer activities, often to bring the music to events. What he loves about Lost is the community perspective his quarter century gives him. “You see a little girl standing on her dad’s boots, dancing. Twenty-five years later she comes back with her own kids! I posted an older picture two or three years ago of some kids standing in the street and put a current picture beside it. Now some of them are moms! If you hang around long enough you get to see it all happen.”
For 25 years Dan played what he calls “a diehard ‘50s and ‘60s song list” and says, “I couldn’t get out of there without playing Rockin’ Robin more than once.” Our only comfort as Dan moves on to other volunteer opportunities is that the rock ‘n’ roll he gave us is here to stay.