Ray’s Drive-In celebrated its 60th anniversary with a car show and community vendor event Saturday morning and early afternoon.
Owner Lawanna Ray Johnson said this event means a lot to the business and the people who work there.
“It means we’re doing something right,” she said. “That’s what it means to me.”
The diner is a place of pride for Johnson — pride in her employees, pride in her product, pride in her customers.
“Ray’s means everything to me,” she said. “This is my family. These girls are dedicated, loyal, good at what they do. I’ve just got the best crew in the world.”
The event spread all across the parking lot of the Towne Square shopping complex behind the diner. Amid more than 100 vehicles, “everything from fixer-uppers to $200,000 rides,” Johnson said, there were countless vendors and performers.
Five-year-old Mia Jackson performed alongside many other students from Susan’s Studio of Dance. She said she liked performing in front of people, but she mostly liked having her mom, Teresa Jackson, in the audience watching her, too.
“Her class is while I’m at work, so this is an opportunity for the family to come out and see what she’s learned,” Teresa said. “We try to make every event.”
The Jackson family loves Ray’s, and they said they thought it was great that they decided to do something for the community to celebrate their 60th birthday.
Justin Shelby said this was a great event for Lufkin. He displayed his 2015 yellow Corvette at the car show.
“I enjoy the fellowship,” he said. “This guy right here is 80-something years old, and I get to come up here and talk to him.”
Susan Callison has worked at Ray’s for 30-plus years. She said Ray’s means family to her.
“It’s just family. It’s a great place for everyone to come out and spend family time,” Callison said. “It’s a safe environment, and it’s tradition. Everyone comes here after the game, before the game, for their birthday. Even if you leave town for 20 years, you have to come back. It’s just home.”