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Web Dateline:CHARLESTON, W.Va. --
Links in text: charlestonwvcarshow.com chilicookoff.com ucwv.edu/alumni/events/
@by:By Jim Balow
@bod:Charleston commuters may already have noticed barricades closing off Kanawha Boulevard Wednesday evening, preparing for an invasion of more than 1,000 classic and custom cars.
But there's more to do this weekend. If you get tired of admiring the machinery at the annual Rod Run & Doo Wop car show, follow your nose to Magic Island to sample the wares at the 2012 World's Championship Chili Cookoff.
Or if your blood runs maroon and gold, there's plenty to do at the University of Charleston's 125th anniversary Homecoming celebration Friday night and Saturday.
Representatives from all three events joined Mayor Danny Jones and his assistant, Rod Blackstone, at a news conference Wednesday morning at the Court Street overlook.
"This is probably the place to be this weekend," said Jama Jarrett of the city's Convention & Visitors Bureau, a sponsor of the cookoff. "We're expecting 30,000 to 50,000 people in Charleston, which means heads in beds."
The Ramada Charleston Downtown, home hotel for the car show, is totally booked this weekend and other city hotels are nearly full, Jarrett said.
The Rod Run & Doo Wop could draw between 1,050 and 1,100 vehicles this year, a record, organizer Randy Easter said. "We've got about 100 more cars pre-registered this year than last.
"We were voted one of the top 10 East Coast car shows last year for 1,000-car-sized shows by Cruising Times magazine. They'll be here again this year, checking us out."
Cars should start rolling in this morning and will line up along the boulevard. Because of the larger number, a longer section of the boulevard is being closed off this year, Easter said. "It runs completely from Brooks Street to the chili show, with some cars on the CASCI lot and the county courthouse lot."