Annual Ed ‘Big Daddy’ Roth’s Rat Fink Reunion May 12-14 – Press Release 4/26/2005

DATE 04/26/2005 7:46 AM

This is part of an occasional series by the Sanpete Country Travel and Utah Heritage Highway 89 Alliance on the people and places along U.S. Highway 89.

Annual Ed ‘Big Daddy’ Roth’s Rat Fink Reunion May 12-14

Hundreds of people are expected in Manti for the third Annual Ed ‘Big Daddy’ Roth’s Rat Fink Reunion May 12-14. The event honors the life of the renowned artist/car designer Ed Roth.Roth was famous for designing and building hotrod cars and for creating the cartoon characters the Beatnik Bandit and “Rat Fink” in the 1960s. He died in Manti on April 4, 2001, at the age of 69. His wife, Ilene Roth, decided she needed to find a way for people who loved and respected her late husband and his work to honor his memory. She came up with the idea for the reunion and it is now an annual event.

The event is held at the museum that Ilene Roth created for her late husband, located at 404 East 300 North in Manti. The reunion will be held from noon to 9 p.m. May 12; from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on May 13; and from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. May 14.

The museum, which is an addition on Ilene Roth’s home, will be open during the reunion. It includes displays of Ed Roth’s art work and other memorabilia. The museum is also open to the public year-round by appointment.

The reunion will also include musical performances by the bands Kindred Spirit, All That Jazz and Plan B, as well and displays of show cars. There will also be air brushers and pin stripers at the reunion all three days. The “stripers” will pin stripe “anything conceivable, as well as air brushers.

Other special events include a car parade on Friday night from 7 to 8 p.m. on Manti’s Main Street. People who want to be in the parade should meet in parking lot of Kent’s Market in Ephraim at 6:30 p.m. On Saturday, there will also be a Dutch oven dinner at 6 p.m. at Roth’s home. Videos and slides of Ed Roth’s life will also be shown each evening of the reunion.

Ilene Roth met her husband after he moved to Manti from California in 1987. An avid hotrod enthusiast from the age of 12, Ed Roth started out by fixing up old cars in his garage. He then moved on to building cars from scratch and quickly became known as an artist rather than a mechanic, with his creations earning the title “sculptures on wheels.” He financed his passion by making cartoons and T-shirts, including drawings of cars and monsters driving cars. His most famous cartoon character was a rodent named Rat Fink, which became very popular in the 1960s and was featured on posters, T-shirts and more.

In addition to the reunion, Ed Roth is being honored this year in a new documentary by Canadian film maker Ron Mann. The movie, Confessions of a Hot Roddin’, Pinstripin’, Kustomizin’ Teenage Icon is set to be released later this year. Mann met with both Ilene and Ed Roth about the film in 2000. “It was Ed’s dream to have the movie made and it will soon be a reality.”

For more information about the Ed “Big Daddy” Roth Rat Fink reunion, contact Ilene Roth at (435) 835-2393.

For more information Contact:Monte Bona
Sanpete County Travel and Heritage Council
(435) 462-2502
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