Radium Hot Springs is the place to be this coming weekend when thousands of people will throng to the village to feast their eyes on classic cars from all eras for the annual Columbia Valley Classics Autumn Show & Shine.
The event is a unique opportunity for classic car collectors to park their vehicles on the driving range at the Springs Golf Course and show them off to curious spectators, who can also enjoy the occasion by checking out the various vendors at the car show as well as at the Radium visitor information centre where Market on Main will wind down its summer season with a final two-day bash.
“Two years ago we registered 998 cars,” said Columbia Valley Classics Car Club president Vicki Roberts. “Last year it was lower but they had
called for snow in Alberta so usually when that happens, lots of the ones that are driving don’t come… because usually these cars aren’t equipped for winter driving.”
With no snow in this year’s forecast, the Show & Shine is bound to be a resounding success. Car owners will be able to register their vehicles at the Radium Seniors’ Hall on Friday (September 8) night from 7 to 9 p.m. while listening to live music by father and son duo Marty and Eli Beingessner and sipping on a complimentary beer. The following morning at the hall, on Saturday (September 9) from 7 to 10 a.m., a pancake breakfast for just $5 per person will be provided by the Radium Fire Department, followed by the start of the car show at 10 a.m. at the Springs Golf Course driving range.
Participants will still be able to register on site by paying $20 at the driving range entrance. All cars parked on the driving range must be registered and any kind of car is welcome, said Roberts.
“There are some people who register their newer cars, like the newer Camaros,” she said, “but typically it’s just older cars, nice cars and trucks that get parked.”
New this year for spectators is a food bank donation — cash or food item — at the entrance gate.
“If they don’t bring it, they’ll still get in, we just thought to help out the local food bank, it goes to a good cause,” Roberts said.
The Columbia Valley Classics Show & Shine is a popular event on the classic car circuit. Taking place every year on the third Saturday in September, it’s advertised by car club members at the different car shows they attend throughout the year and on Harrison’s Auto Event List website, the go-to site for car events taking place in northwest Washington and British Columbia.
The club has never tracked the number of spectators who come out to view the cars but Roberts said that, judging from photographs, it looks like thousands of people because the driving range is full.
The Show & Shine will continue through to 4 p.m. at which time the events disbands and an informal cruise to Invermere and back takes place with a police presence enforcing zero-tolerance, which means anyone caught stunting (doing burnouts, etc.) will have their car towed or impounded for up to seven days.
Returning again this year will be the ever-popular 50s dance on Saturday night from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m., for which tickets will be sold during Friday night registration at the Radium Seniors’ Hall and at the car show itself if there are any tickets left over.
While the dance took place in Radium last year, this year it will happen in Invermere at the curling rink in order to accommodate more people in a bigger venue, as the dance sold out last year.
The dance is hosted by the Kinsmen Club of Invermere who will be providing a free shuttle service to and from Radium on the half hour for anyone with a dance ticket. Up to 600 tickets are expected to be sold and the 50s/60s band from Cranbrook, Crossfire, will be bringing the house down, so feel free to dress up and boogie down.
ELSEWHERE IN THE VALLEY
In conjunction with the car club event is the last market of the season in Radium, which will take place on Friday (September 14) from 4 to 8:30 p.m. at the visitor information centre, and again on Saturday (September 15) from 3 to 8:30 p.m. All the well-loved vendors visitors have come to expect will be present, plus a few more surprise ones as well, totalling more than 30.
Adding live music to boot will be Rockin’ on Main, which will see three popular local music acts perform over both days — the Dry Gulch Ramblers, Marty and Eli Beingessner and Cranrbook’s 60 Hertz.
For anyone wanting to continue the festivities, the Windermere Fall Fair and Scarecrow Festival starts at 11 a.m. on Sunday (September 16) at the community hall and grounds of the elementary school in Windermere. For more information on the Show & Shine, visit the car club’s website at www.columbiavalleyclassics.com.