There was a changing of the guard at last Saturday’s 23rd annual Automobilia Moonlight Car Show and Street Party, as founder Gary Carpenter handed the show off to Joshua Blick, who purchased the event less than a month before this year’s show opened.
It there was any question about whether the change would result in less enthusiasm for the show, that question was answered in short order, as cars poured into Old Town just as they always have.
The final car count was 782 registered vehicles
Blick said the final car count was 782 registered vehicles, a good turnout in his books. Approximately 100 other cars were sneaked in without registering, a perpetual issue that will be addressed next year, he said.
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“It was an amazing show … just awesome,” he said. There were the usual worries about bad weather, but afternoon storm clouds skirted to the south.
“In about three weeks, we pulled it off,” said Blick, who noted that volunteers from previous years returned to help run the show and that 40 or more new volunteers pitched in to help. “We couldn’t have done it without those volunteers. A lot of people showed up that we didn’t know.”
But it was still a lot of work.
“My legs were like jelly. I was from one end to other I don’t know how many times. I didn’t eat all day,” Blick said.
Gary Carpenter, on the other hand, finally got to experience the show the way spectators and exhibitors always have, strolling along with his wife and business partner, Lorita, looking at cars and vendor booths, chatting with participants in a low-key, no-stress fashion.
“This is nice,” he said, noting that he will continue to operate his business, Automobilia, which deals in automotive collectibles. The show actually began as a customer appreciation event and blossomed into a mega car show.
“It’s exciting to have the foundation of Gary’s legacy to build on,” said Blick. He said that show profits will now be shared among four local charities: the Convoy of Hope, Cars for the Cause, the Arc of Sedgwick County and the Starkey Foundation.
Blick said meetings will be scheduled with volunteers and sponsors in coling weeks to discuss how this year’s show went and to begin planning next year’s event.
Just as we have since 2002, we prowled the streets with our cameras, documenting some of the fine rides, both local and from out of the area, that make the Automobilia show a great annual event.
Mike Berry: firstname.lastname@example.org