SURGOINSVILLE — Hawkins County businessman Chris Singleton is hoping to parlay his love of Jeeps, his respect for police and first responders, and his knack for invention into a new festival in Hawkins County.
The inaugural Back the Blue Fall Crawl is scheduled for Oct. 3 at the new Sayrah Barn event venue at 4144 Highway 11-W in Surgoinsville.
The event is presented by Jeeprax, which is a Jeep accessory invented by Singleton.
Singleton, who owns an auto body shop on 11-W in Surgoinsville, said he came up with the idea for a local Jeep festival while attending the massive Jeep Invasion recently in Pigeon Forge.
“We came back from the Jeep Invasion, and we’re like, ‘We’ve gotta do something local,’ ” Singleton told the Times News last week. “They had about 10,000 at the Jeep Invasion. Where it’s our first year, I don’t really have any idea of what type of crowd we’re going to have that day. If we get 200 Jeeps, that will be great.
“The Jeep community tends to be pretty patriotic, and if we have good weather that day they could blow that out of the water,” Singleton said.
“There will be some really high-dollar vehicles, and there will be some people with their stock Jeep that they just drive back and forth to work every day. It’s more toward Jeep Wranglers that you take the top off of and the doors off of, but I’m making this all models, all years — as long as it’s a Jeep vehicle, it’s good to bring it to the show.”
The Back the Blue Fall Crawl will run from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.
Early registration is $15 per Jeep, and registration is $20 on the day of the event. Spectator attendance is free, and Sayrah Barn will be selling food.
The first 100 Jeep owners to register get a free T-shirt.
All police and fire and rescue personnel who attend get to eat for free. A portion of the proceeds will be contributed to law enforcement, fire and rescue agencies.
“We’re going to try to have meet and greet with all local law enforcement on site that day,” Singleton said. “It’s so sad what’s happening to our law enforcement around the country that I just wanted to do something to thank them. It’s a good thing to give back to the community, so I hope we’re going to have a pretty good little show.”
Singleton added, “Law enforcement, firefighters, first responders, EMTs. We done a little photo shoot with them the other day, and I think all the local groups showed up with the exception of Mount Carmel and Church Hill weren’t able to attend. I hope they can the day of the show.”
Singleton said he’s hoping to make this a regular event, maybe holding one show in the spring and one show in the fall.