Olive Branch will deputize actors Erik Estrada, Larry Wilcox and Robert Pine from the hit 1980s TV show CHiPs during their appearance at the Mid South Nostalgia Festival in June.
Estrada and Wilcox played motorcycle officers “Ponch” and Jon with the California Highway Patrol on the show which ran from 1977 to 1983. Pine played their boss Sgt. Joe Getraer who gave the roll call briefing and told the officers what to be on the look out for.
Mayor Ken Adams said representatives reached out to Olive Branch Police Department about borrowing a motorcycle to display at the event.
CHiPs was famous for its opening credits and theme song which showed Estrada and Wilcox riding modified Kawasaki KZ900 and KZ1000 motorcycles on patrol down a busy Los Angeles freeway. Wilcox and Estrada often did their own riding and some of the smaller stunts during the show’s run.
“It’s exciting,” Adams said. “A lot of us grew up on CHiPs. Every kid on a bicycle thought they had a motorcycle just like theirs and were Ponch and Jon riding down the street.”
Today, CHP uses Harley Davidson Electra Glide motorcycles.
Adams said he plans on making Estrada, Wilcox and Pine honorary Olive Branch police officers for the day.
“We are certainly excited about it,” Adams said. “I am going to make them reserve police officers while they are here just in case we need some back up. We can count on those guys to keep us safe. We will give them a couple of badges and show them where they can patrol.”
The Mid-South Nostalgia Festival, formerly known as the Memphis Film Festival, will be held June 8-10 at Whispering Woods Hotel in Olive Branch. In addition to the stars of CHiPs, other actors who will appear include Robert Fuller from “Emergency” and the westerns “Laramie” and “Wagon Train”; Patrick Wayne, the son of John Wayne; Darby Hinton from “Daniel Boone;” and others.
“We are going to go over and visit with them when they are in town for sure,” Adams said.
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