This year marks the 30th annual Columbia Valley Classics Car Show in Radium Hot Springs. That’s three decades of chrome-covered, paint-polished, decked out-detailed, righteous rides that have filled Radium’s greenways and roadways for car enthusiasts’ ideal weekend.
Car owners come from the Valley and across western Canada and into the United States. Canal Flats resident Sjac Pronk will be driving his 1968 Ford Falcon to the Radium car show. He has had the car for about seven years now, and been on the road for the last three or four.
“I’m not a car guy,” Mr. Pronk says. He has always been more of a truck guy, and definitely not a Ford guy. But he ended up with a Ford car because of two people.
“A very good friend of mine who’s passed away now gave me the car. And my childhood friend from Kindergarten gave me an identical one for a parts car.”
These two friends both had dreams to restore their Ford Falcons, but neither were able to do it. By merging the best of both cars together, Mr. Pronk was able to not only rebuild one beautiful car, but fulfill two friends’ wishes at the same time. While the restoration process was “long, and expensive,” he said it was also a lot of fun. His wife and kids helped out and now, they have a car they drive every chance they get, including to multiple car shows a year.
“We would’ve gone to the odd local car show, like Radium or Kimberley,” before the Falcon, Mr. Pronk said. Now, they spend the whole day at the show, and have gotten to know other classic car owners that do the car show circuit as well.
“We’ve met so many people – it’s incredible. It’s kind of like its own world,” he said.
The fun begins Friday, September 20 with poker run registration at the Prestige Radium Hot Springs Resort, for $10 per hand. A special Market & Music on Main, with vendor booths lining the space around the visitor centre, runs from 4-8 p.m. Live music by Chisel Peak Blues Band will animate the market from 5:30-7:30 p.m. For further music options, the Blues Brothers Too will also perform throughout the weekend around town.
Saturday, September 21st, fill up on a pancake breakfast at the Radium Hot Springs Fire Department from 7:30-10:30 a.m. Fueled up? Now it’s time to mosey down to The Springs Course Driving Range, where rows and rows of magnificent motorcars and tripped-out trucks will be on display, often with their adoring owners nearby ready to answer questions (or keep tiny tots’ hands from leaving a mark on just-polished surfaces).
After you spend time wandering the aisles at the car show, head over to the vendor booths for a little shopping. After all the car viewing and market shopping, you’ll definitely be hungry again. Vendor coordinator Christy Arrowsmith jokes it should be called the Car and Food Show, with ample food vendors offering everything from perogies to crepes, Indian tacos to dumplings, bannock, burgers, fries, ribs, Italian, corn dogs, mini donuts, coffee and more.
Market & Music on Main runs again Saturday afternoon. From 1:30-3:30 p.m., enjoy the Music on Main with Heather Gemmell.
At 4 p.m. there is a Classic Cruise to Invermere and back to Radium. The evening wraps up with a Show & Shine Dance, hosted by the Radium Hot Springs Rotary Club at the Radium Hot Springs Centre (all are invited to buy tickets to attend the Show & Shine dance, not just car show entrants).
At only $25 to register, it is affordable and inclusive for vehicle owners, with all makes of cars and trucks welcome. Car show registration runs from 7-9 p.m. on Friday, September 20th at the Radium Hot Springs Centre (4865 Stanley St.). For details, visit www.radiumcarshow.com.