When I was a kid, one of the first movies I saw was “Smokey and The Bandit” with Burt Reynolds as the iconic “Bandit,” singer/songwriter Jerry Reed as the infamous trucker “Snowman” and comedy legend Jackie Gleason as “Buford T. Justice, The Sheriff of Texas.” It is now 45 years later, and love for the movie has not gone away at all. It is celebrated every year by “The Bandit Run,” a convoy of classic Pontiac Trans Ams and old-school big rigs reenacting the most famous beer run on the planet.
The greatest beer run of them all!!!
This year, the event started, you guessed it, in Texarkana, Texas on Saturday, May 21, with a classic car cruise around town with a police escort. I’m sure Natural Light had the gates locked just in case. Sunday, May 22, was the Show and Shine Car show in downtown Texarkana, with a dinner and a movie showing of “Smokey and The Bandit.”
The convoy kicked off on Monday, May 23, with the group headed down to Vicksburg, Mississippi, for the night, and maybe a few rounds of gambling on the casino showboats. Tuesday was a slight excursion from the legendary route, as the convoy headed down to Destin, Florida.
Wednesday, May 25, was “Bandit Day” on the beach, with a private group dinner that evening. On Thursday, the convoy reassembled and headed for Helen, Georgia, the site where some of the film’s production took place. Friday, May 27, is Bandit Day in Helen with another Show and Shine car show, with some “celebrity guests” and “Pizza in the Parking Lot.”
On Saturday, May 28, there will be a “Town Hall Talkback” where the local historians and townspeople will speak about the filming and events surrounding the movie. More information about the Bandit Run can be found on the app on Android and Apple devices, and on the website, TheBanditRun.com.
I have definitely added The Bandit Run to my calendar for next year and hope I can attend in person.