By Craig Smith
As disappointing as all the event cancellations have been for people who would normally attend, it’s been just as discouraging to the folks who produce them.
“People understood why we had to cancel Main Street Reunion this year,” said Napa Valley Cruisers club president Mike Phillips, “but it’s still been disappointing. Not just to people who attend the show, but to our club members. It’s the only time they see some car owners and their cars. The show is always a chance to interact with people in the valley who aren’t in the Cruisers.”
For Phillips and the rest of the Cruisers, not having some kind of Napa car show is unacceptable. “Events were still off the table at the beginning of the year, when we normally start planning the car show, but in June, when we got the green flag from the state and county, we decided to hold our annual Show & Shine event.” Show & Shine’s are traditionally smaller than car shows and more informal, but that has its advantages as well.
“We’ll have 150 pre-1976 cars at Show & Shine, most of them from here in the valley.” That’s compared to the 400 cars that usually participate in Main Street Reunion. Some people think 150 is just the right number. “At the Show & Shine, you have a chance to really look at everything and can talk to the owners in more detail than you might otherwise. It’s a lot more informal.”
Still, even an informal show has to have the essential elements. A DJ will keep your favorite car tunes going all day, and there will plenty of food and drink available for purchase. Two awards will be given – The Best of Show as judged by Napa Valley Marketplace Magazine, a big supporter of the event, and Napa’s Best, as chosen by the Cruisers. “In Main Street Reunion, we go over cars with a fine toothcomb to determine the show winners. The cars that we choose at Show & Shine will be the best out there, but in keeping with the vibe, judging will be less formal.”
Probably no one has had a better view of the cars than Brad Parsons, a member of the Cruisers who has been photographing both Main Street Reunion and Show & Shine for years. “I get to see every car and truck that enters the gate, and every one of them has a story to tell. People connect with cars for different reasons, whether you like the color, it was the car you learned to drive in, or your parents had that car the first time they took you to Disneyland. You relive those memories and it puts a smile on your face.” Most years, Parsons attends various car shows. “Every car show is different and you can see something new every time. I admire the work and dedication that goes into each and every vehicle.” He also recommends, if you see a car that you really like, you do more than just look. “Next time you attend a car show and make a connection with that special vehicle, talk to the owner. You just might make a bigger connection to something in your past that you can pass on to your children, maybe give them a memory that they will pass on.”
The cost to enter a car in the Napa Show & Shine is $20. The cost to spend the whole day looking at the cars, talking to the car owners and everybody else you’ll run into, is free. Thanks for the show go to the Napa Valley Cruisers, Napa Valley Marketplace Magazine, Coors Light, Molson Ale, Lagunitas and the Downtown Napa Association.
Sunday, October 24. 10 AM to 3 PM