Despite the change of venue and the weatherman throwing in some thunder and lightning and a torrential downpour late Saturday afternoon and evening, the annual Hot July Nights Car & Bike Show, July 15-17, was very successful, according to a couple of organizing committee members.
Dave Mingo and Chuck Douglas, who were enjoying the great turnout for Sunday’s pancake breakfast at Central GM, said they were pleased with how the weekend went.
As far as moving the Show & Shine to Centennial Park on Saturday afternoon, Mingo says he thought it was great.
“The park was full. The people who were showing their vehicles were very impressed with the location and they liked the fact they were standing on grass instead of pavement.
“Other than Mother Nature at the end giving us a bit a downpour it was good.”
Added Douglas: “I talked to a lot of people down there and there was a lot of comments that it was a nice venue, very relaxed and not really structured, with lots of room between the cars so people could mingle easily.
“I don’t think I heard any negative comments and the park was full.”
While the number of registrants was down a bit, Douglas says he believes it was because of the weather all over the province.
“My gut feeling was the crowds were up because when we had it on Birch Avenue, it was concentrated for an hour to an hour-and-a-half time. This way, we had crowds start coming in at one o’clock and it continued all day long.”
Noting Chrome Reverse was about one-third of the way through its second set, Mingo said the thunder and lightning storm was too intense and they couldn’t take a chance, so they shut the power off to the stage.
“The rain was coming down so hard, we just shut everything down.”
The awards, which were supposed to be announced at 8 p.m. on Saturday in the park, were handed out at Central GM after the pancake breakfast.
“You just roll with the punches Mother Nature gives you,” Mingo said with a shrug.
As for using Centennial Park for next year’s venue, Douglas said it would be up to next year’s committee to make that decision.
“But, I would be interested in looking at it again.”
Added Mingo: “From talking to the exhibitors yesterday, most would prefer having it down in the park. They liked the venue and they liked the fact of it being on grass.”
He said there were no problems getting the vehicles in and out of the park. Even with all the rain and the standing water, he noted there was very little damage to the turf in the park.
Looking at the activity going on around him, Douglas said Central GM owner Tom Bachynski and his crew deserve a big thank-you for putting the event on.
“This is great. I don’t think he could have done any better than what he’s got here today.”
See pages B1 and A30 for a photo pages, and related stories on A3 and A20,