Dave McClelland, the renowned announcer who began emceeing the SEMA Awards Banquet in 1976 when the SEMA Show was in Anaheim, California, is stepping down from the podium and will host his final SEMA Awards Banquet, Thursday, November 5, 2015, in Las Vegas.
Known by many as the golden voice that presided over the NHRA races for decades, McClelland entertained thousands for 40 continuous years as he introduced leaders, legends and icons during the SEMA Awards Banquet.
“It’s very difficult to make this decision [to stop announcing the SEMA Awards Banquet] because I have the utmost respect for SEMA,” said McClelland, who compares his 40-year stint with SEMA to that of Vin Scully with the Dodgers. “Announcing the SEMA Banquet has become a very personal thing. I take great pride in doing the best job that I can do.”
Indeed, many who have attended the SEMA Awards Banquet have come to associate the event with McClelland. While McClelland stopped announcing for the NHRA in 2003, he continued to emcee the SEMA Awards Banquet and never missed a single year. As host, he introduced and stood alongside the industry’s most celebrated leaders, including SEMA Hall of Fame members, SEMA Persons of the Year and entertainers, such as Jay Leno, Sinbad, the Beach Boys and Willie Nelson.
“Every once in a while, we get to be a part of the magic that happens when exactly the right person is performing in a particular role. So it has been for all of us in the SEMA community who have enjoyed Dave’s special talent, blended with his deep familiarity and involvement with the people in our industry,” said Chris Kersting, SEMA president and CEO. “Dave has always imparted a level of care and excellence befitting the many folks he’s helped SEMA honor over the years. He’s deserving of our deep appreciation.”
Tickets to the SEMA Awards Banquet, taking place Thursday, November 5, 2015, in Las Vegas, are available online to SEMA Showgoers.
More than 3,000 are expected to attend the event, where McClelland will announce, for the last time, the winners of the SEMA Awards, introduce the newest Hall of Fame members and present this year’s entertainer, “Mike & Molly’s” Billy Gardell. Well wishers are also invited to meet with McClelland during an autograph signing, Tuesday–Wednesday, November 3–4, from 10:30 a.m.–11:30 a.m., and 1:00 p.m.–2:00 p.m., in the Grand Lobby of the Las Vegas Convention Center.