Main Street Reunion Car Show - Hundreds of vintage cars – twice!
Last year, Main Street Reunion moved a couple of blocks to Third and Main Streets. After all those years on First, the show organizers worried about how the new footprint would be received. They needn’t have worried.
“People loved the new layout,” said Napa Valley Cruisers president Mike Phillips. “We used the big parking lot across the street from the County building as well, and it meant the cars were closer together. People said it looked more impressive, and saved them a lot of walking.” The Cruisers have been co-hosting the event with the Downtown Napa Association since it started.
Apparently, the buzz among classic car owners was good as well. Registration is up, and there will be 75 more cars this year. “We max out at 400 cars, and last year we didn’t hit that number. This year, based on the way registrations have been coming in, we’ll make it for sure,” said Phillips.
The car show features 400 pre-1976 cars, most in pristine condition. The majority of the cars being shown belong to locals. “I’m always amazed to see how many great cars there are right here in Napa. When you get them altogether like that, it’s impressive,” said Phillips. As the show has grown in popularity, it has attracted more and more car owners, some from Southern California, Arizona and Nevada. “There are four weekends of back-to-back shows in California, and some folks take their cars to all of them. We’re part of that circuit, so it means more great cars for us,” said Phillips.
This year marks the sixth that the weekend and begins with a Friday night Show & Shine, this year to be held at the parking lot at Soscol and Pearl, where the Cinedome used to be. “A Show & Shine event the night before the car show gives everybody another chance to see the cars in more of a party atmosphere,” said Tammy Robinette, a long time organizer and past-president of the Cruisers. “People can check out all the great cars, enjoy something to eat and drink, plus listen to good music too. How great is that?” Show & Shine is limited to only 150 cars. Napa’s own The Diamond T Band will perform all the classic and modern hits.
None of the organizers are quite sure when Main Street first started. “It was either ’97 or ‘98,” recalled Craig Smith of the Downtown Napa organization. “The Cruisers had been hosting a block-long event on Main Street for several years, with help from volunteers from the Napa Fire Fighters museum, but there was only room for a couple dozen cars.” The Cruisers wanted the show to grow, but had trouble getting through the red tape to pull it off. They approached the Downtown Napa Association about partnering. “When they first approached our organization, they challenged me to help get it off the ground,” said Smith. “Later, I got teased for being in charge of securing the Three P’s: permits, police and porta potties.”
After a six or seven year run (again, accounts vary) the Cruisers decided to take a year off, which turned into a six year break. It came back eight years ago, stronger than ever. “This is probably the fourteenth or fifteenth show, it’s just taken twenty years to get to that number,” said Smith.
Trophies are a big part of the event. Two will be awarded at Show & Shine, and over forty will be given at Saturday’s Main Street Reunion. The cost to register a car for Main Street Reunion is $35 ($40 after August 11). Pre-registration of $10 is required for Show & Shine. A portion of registration fees will be donated to a local nonprofit. Applications to enter a car are available at DoNapa.com, or by calling 257-0322.
Sponsored by Blue Moon, Heineken, Jimmy Vasser Toyota/Chevrolet, Bank of Marin, Napa Valley Marketplace Magazine, Downtown Joe’s, Audio House, and KVON/KVYN. Without their generous support, the show would not be possible. Visit DoNapa.com for full details.
Show & Shine Car Show
Fri., August 17
5 to 8:30pm
Main Street Reunion Car Show
Sat., August 18
10am to 3pm