- Napa Valley Marketplace Magazine
Main Street Reunion 2019
Friday, August 16, 5 to 8:30 p.m. | Saturday, August 17, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
If you’re a car enthusiast, you probably
already know that it’s time for the annual Show and Shine and Main Street Reunion. Even if you have a casual relationship with cars of the past – say you remember that ’68 GTO your boyfriend drove in high school, and how you’d wear his Letterman jacket walking down the hall to classes – these shows are the chance to see more classic cars in one place in Napa than you’ll see anywhere else. Up to 400 remarkably pristine cars and trucks will be on display Friday and Saturday. It won’t cost you a dime to look at them, and best of all, many of them are owned by 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 Mike Phillips, past president of the Napa Valley Cruisers, the car club whose members have been organizing the show since it began twenty years ago.
One of the local cars you’ll see at this year’s show is a 1940 Buick, restored from bumper to bumper by Steve Pierce, owner of the Executive Room Barbershop. He named the car Pamela, after his mother, who passed away five years ago. “Pamela” made her show debut on the car show circuit recently, and it’s been quite a year – The Buick has been named the Goodguys Street Rod Headquarters Custom of the Year, and in February captured three awards at the Sacramento Autorama – for most beautiful custom, outstanding nostalgia rod and “King of Kustoms.” Pierce is a member of The Squires Car Club, and you’ll see a number of cars from their members. “We’ve been coming to Main Street Reunion for years,” said Pierce of the Squires. “It’s a great event for car owners and a great event for locals who want to see them.”
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 seventh that the weekend begins with a Friday night Show & Shine, 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 classic and modern hits. The musicians are way more than just a cover band – they’re really good. Even if you don’t care about cars at all, it’s worth coming to Show and Shine just to hear them and dance.
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 after that, stronger than ever, when the then-president of the Cruisers, Rich Garcia, decided it was time. “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, Downtown Joe’s, Audio House, and KVON/KVYN. Without their generous support, the show would not be possible. Visit DoNapa.com for full details.
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