BETHEL ISLAND -- For the past 11 years, in preparation for the Bethel Island '50s Bash, Roger Bartlett builds a motorcycle to enter the competition. This year he built a 1979 Harley Davidson. He and wife Barbara are avid fans of the '50s Bash, but more importantly they enjoy the chance to support their community.
The Bartletts are longtime residents of Bethel Island, living in the community from the late 1970s, moving away for a short period of time and then returning 15 years ago, calling the island their home ever since. The couple have taken on many activities during the '50s Bash over the years, including adding their own entries in the car and motorcycle shows.
"This is a small community and we try and help out," Bartlett said.
Bartlett is not only entering his motorcycle in the show on Sunday, but also entering a 1930s Model A pickup truck with all original parts for the Saturday Car Show. This year Bartlett is also taking on the job of setting up the criteria and the judges for the car show and working on distribution of the sign-up sheets.
As a car enthusiast, '50s Bash coordinators Cha Cha Cha and Dori Anderson believe he is the right person for the job.
"He has experience with the Good Guys Car Show and even took the time to hand out fliers at that event," Cha said.
The Bethel Island '50s Bash is a longtime tradition of the small town and is celebrating its 25th anniversary in the community. Each year the
This year, the Bethel Island Chamber of Commerce-hosted event features a wide variety of activities besides the car and motorcycle show, offering more for everyone in the community. The event is bringing back old favorite activities like the Dog Show, at 9 a.m. Saturday, the decorated golf cart parade, 1 p.m. Sunday, and the Rubber Duck Derby at 2 p.m. Sunday.
"Lots of dogs dress up in costumes for the dog show," Anderson said. "It is a treat just watching the owners and the dogs."
Rubber ducks can be purchased for $5 until the event. The new rubber duck launch point will begin at the Rusty Porthole this year. The first three ducks to hit the finish line will win cash awards.
Perhaps the unique event of the weekend is the Bethel Island Lions Club-sponsored Catfish Races, which take place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days. The event features catfish racing down a flatbed. Various races run throughout the day.
"We don't have enough room for a horse racetrack, but their cat wranglers get these little kitties moving," Anderson said.
Each year the town elects a Bethel Island Queen at the '50s Bash. Last year's queen was Cha Cha Cha. Cha sold the most tickets in the event raffle. Tickets will be on sale throughout the weekend and the new queen will be crowned at noon Sunday. Winners of the raffle will receive a first prize of $300, a second prize of $200 and a third prize of $100.
Rounding out the weekend will be the local park filled with craft, merchant, civic and food booths. The local East Contra Costa Fire District will be one of the booths in this area. Cars and motorcycle entries are still taken up until the weekend of the event.
What: Bethel Island '50s Bash
When: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday
Where: Downtown Bethel Island
Info: 925-684-3220 or www.bethelisland-chamber.com