Final Friday Fest and Perry Cruzze car show mark end of summer

Rukkus brought out their fans in force Friday evening for the last in the season's series of Friday Fests, sponsored by the Perry-Area Chamber of Commerce. The local band has performed together 42 years.

With Labor Day approaching and school starting Monday, summertime activities are drawing to a close in the Perry area. Marking the turn to fall this weekend was the Perry-Area Chamber of Commerce’s staging of the last of the season’s Friday Fests.

Rukkus was the musical guest at Friday’s fest, and they brought their brand of flaming rock to the mild temperatures in Pattee Park. With roots in Perry, the core members of Rukkus — lead singer Mark Einck of Perry, lead guitarist Jim Wuebker of Grimes and rhythm guitarist J.  C. Wilson of Des Moines — have played together for 42 years.

Other band members playing Friday were Ben Einck of Des Moines on keyboards and guitar and vocalist Emily Einck of Perry. Eric McLeod of Ames rocked steady on drums.

Mark Einck described the pleasures of playing in a hometown rock band with his high school buddies and his son and daughter.

“Having younger members has really helped us musically,” Einck said. “Instead of us old guys just playing stuff from the ’70s and ’80s, Eric, Ben and Em have brought in some great material from the ’90s and 2000s.”

Ben has been with with the band “forever,” Einck said, “and Eric is just a treasure. Em sings like Linda Ronstadt, and we all harmonize really well.”

Friday evening was also the occasion of the Perry Cruzze Car Show, another Chamber-sponsored event blessed by fair weather. Chamber member Dave Wright of Perry, who led organizing for the car show, was pleased with the outcome.

Chamber organizer Dave Wright, left, handed out the prizes in the Perry Cruzze car show Friday in downtown Perry.
Chamber organizer Dave Wright, left, handed out the prizes in the Perry Cruzze car show Friday in downtown Perry. The winning car was this turquoise 1929 Ford coupe owned by Phil Stepp of Kellogg, Iowa.

“For the first year, I felt we had a very successful event,” Wright said. “We had a total of 62 cars that came for the event, and 55 registered for the judging and prizes. It was a perfect night to start the event.”

Wright said the Chamber will need to gather information and evaluate the event, but to him it “seems to be one that we need to schedule a day for next year and do it again. I am looking for input about the event and suggestions for next year.”

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