Spectators streamed through the gates of the Springs Golf Course in Radium Hot Springs in the hundreds to check out an incredible selection of cars and trucks at this year’s Columbia Valley Classics Annual Show & Shine.
“There’s always been that excitement level when it comes to the car show weekend, more so this year because (people) could get out and enjoy the events,” said Vicki Roberts, president of the Columbia Valley Classics Car Club.
She estimated there were a few thousand spectators throughout the sunny day, from 10 a.m. to 4p.m.
It’s the 33rd year the popular event has been held.
“There’s a vibe in the air when everyone knows the car show is coming around,” Roberts said. “It definitely brings the community together. I think it’s the biggest event that happens in Radium and Invermere.”
There were rows and rows of vehicles on display. Roberts said 674 folks registered and filled out forms to be part of the show. As well, “There’s lots of people who pay the registration fee but don’t fill out the paperwork, so I think there were about 700 people registered,” she added.
Bill Cropper was hired to emcee the show the second year it happened, and has been emceeing since. “I’ve watched this thing grow from the beginning,” Cropper said. “I said,’This is going to be huge,’.” He recalled one year when a couple got married at the show. “They had a Morris Minor, about a 1953, in the show.”
The Blues Brothers were onsite in their patrol car. Jake (a.k.a Ian McDonnell) and Elwood (a.k.a. Grant Eisworth), slowly drove around the course, stopping to sing and dance now and then to smiles and applause from spectators.
It’s clear the show has an immense drawing power.
“I think it’s because car enthusiasts come to see other people’s pride and joy as well,” Roberts said. “It brings a lot of people together. It’s the history behind each vehicle, and people like to display the work they’ve done.” With restoration, the look, the horsepower – “It’s almost like it’s in your blood”, she said.
Car restoration is in Roberts’ blood: “I love cars – I’m a car enthusiast,” she said. “I like old vehicles, I like new vehicles. I’ve had restored vehicles in the past.”
The show has been held consistently at the Springs Golf Course the third Saturday of September. “That’s the best time for us to get the location,” Roberts noted. “We’ve always had it that week. The weather always seemed to be good.”
Each year all members of the car club select 10 of their favourite vehicles. The choices are compiled; this year’s the Top 10 Club’s Choice Awards include: Greg Hartman, Drayton Valley, AB: 1946 Chevrolet truck; Shawna and Sean Rollins, Calgary, AB: 1941 Dodge WC pickup; Dave Forai, West Kelowna: 1966 Malibu SS; Jolene Young, Foothills, AB: 1970 Ford Bronco; Brent Fraser, Calgary: 1968 Ford F100; Jeff Way, Slave Lake, AB: 1967 Chevrolet Nova; Brad Nelson, Leduc, AB: 1996 Chevrolet Tahoe; Al and Jackie Emro, Irricana, AB: 1960 GMC custom Emro; Laurier Fontaine, Spruce Grove, AB: 1957 Ford Fairlane; Milt Pancoast, Medicine Hat, AB: 1950 Chevrolet 3100 truck.
Roberts is grateful for the hard work and dedication from each of the club members, she said in a text. “I’m extremely proud of the show we put on and the excitement from everyone who attended this year’s event.”