Work horse and horsepower featured at Iola Car Show
Iola Car Show will feature all makes of the truck hobby, from light to heavy duty, as well as celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Dodge Charger.
The 44th annual Iola Car Show and Swap Meet, themed “Trucks and Dodge Chargers,” will run from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday, July 7, through Saturday, July 9, at the Iola Car Show grounds, 160 N. Chet Krause Drive, Iola.
“It’s not just a show, it’s a tradition,” said Joe Opperman, publicity and marketing director for the event. “To some people, the car show is all about the Blue Ribbon area. To others, the Swap Meet is the draw. Some come for the camping and family time, while others just come for the brats, chicken dinners and cheese curds.
“We like to say there’s something for everyone,” he said. “It’s a very family-friendly event close to home.”
Cost is $10 daily admission or $18 for a three-day pass, and children 12 and under are free. Parking is free, as are the available bus shuttles.
This year, the show will focus on all makes of trucks, from light to heavy-duty. In addition to the pickups, there will be vintage dump trucks, tanker trucks, delivery trucks and every other type including retired semi-trucks.
The 50th anniversary of the Dodge Charger also will be celebrated. The Charger came onto the scene as a muscle car, counterpart to the Coronet in the mid-1960s when fast cars were where it was at. The car show will take visitors through the Charger’s history, from racing to luxury and everything in between and beyond.
The Swap Meet contains just about anything a car enthusiast would need or want by taking take the time to walk and pick through the offerings.
“The Swap Meet is a treasure trove of history,” Opperman said. “Vintage parts, signage, tools, equipment and other items can be found. You can get everything from unique parts to restoration projects and vehicles and everything in between.”
Annually, the show provides more than 4,200 Swap Meet spaces and about 2,500 show cars, he said. This year, Opperman said, they have received responses from “great distances, so it will be fun to see how the numbers come in.”
Organizers are broadening their sights to appeal to even more than the 120,000 to 150,000 people the event draws annually. New this year are music nights staging a variety of bands playing tunes such as Journey and Eagles hits.
“The music is a welcomed addition that we think will help more people learn about the show and be an added attraction for everyone in the area,” Opperman said. “The acts that are coming in are top notch performers, and we’re very excited to be working with Muzzy Concerts on this.”
Friday Night: A Night of Tribute will feature Journey Resurrection and On The Border: Ultimate Eagles Tribute Band. Saturday Night will showcase original Beach Boy David Marks and the Surf City All-Stars as well as Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone.
Also appearing at this year’s Iola Car Show will be Courtney Hansen of Overhaulin’, PowerBlock/PowerNation; Ryan Evans and “Horny” Michael Henry of History Channel’s Counting Cars; Jim and Mike Ring of Ring Brothers, SEMA Winners and featured on Jay Leno’s Garage; Jo Coddington of Discovery Channel’s American Hot Rod; and Villy Customs as seen on ABC’s Shark Tank.
There also will be kids’ attractions, Miss Wisconsin will make an appearance and there will be free prizes awarded.
The first Iola Car Show was in 1972, featuring about 20 cars, chicken dinners, and a vision, Opperman said. “That vision has grown and evolved over the years into what is today a premier destination for enthusiasts of all sorts. The Iola Car Show is … truly a must-see event for all.”
The Iola Car Show is a non-profit organization which gives money to 130 different groups and organizations that contribute volunteers to the production of the event.