By Bruce Karnick [email protected] Car Shows, Hastings, Saturday afternoon. They just kind of fit right? Not for 2021. After having to cancel the car shows last year, the Hastings Downtown …
By Bruce Karnick
Car Shows, Hastings, Saturday afternoon. They just kind of fit right? Not for 2021. After having to cancel the car shows last year, the Hastings Downtown Business Association and Hastings Area Chamber of Commerce looked at what was working well for the car shows and reassessed some things that were not working so well.
The DBA is the primary organizer of the Hastings Historic Car Shows. Because the car show is put on by the downtown businesses, they made a tough decision to move the shows to Sundays for 2021. The primary reason was not losing out on the normal Saturday shopping traffic. Saturdays were good business days on their own and having the car shows occupy the street every other weekend was not the best option for the shops on second street. Which makes sense. A restaurant holds specials on their slowest days to help bring in business, why not hold the car show on a slower day to help bring in business?
“I’d call this a really good turn out,” said Kristy Barse of the Hastings Area Chamber of Commerce. “We have had over 150 cars coming and going all day so far, and the foot traffic has been very good, too.”
It is not quite the same number of people walking the car show as it was pre-COVID, but it is impossible to know if the slight decrease in traffic is due to the move to Sunday or people still being wary of being in groups of people.
One huge advantage of changing to Sundays was the need for police to tow cars according to Barse. “It was a huge problem to clear the street by 4:00 on Saturdays. This morning, there were no cars anywhere, so it was super easy to block off the road and get ready. No one had to get towed.”
The biggest draw of the Hastings Car show is the cost for participants and for guests. It is free all around. No entry fee for cars, no admission for guests. Of course, both are invited to shop and dine downtown, so the night might still cost attendees something. Music is played on second street, volunteers man blockades all over the place to allow participants entry and direct those that try to get by.
The car shows this year are on the third Sunday of each month through September, from 11-4. Details can be found at https://hastingsdba.com/historic-hastings-carshow.
2021’s first car show of the season was a huge hit with cars and trucks lined up and down second street for all to see.
Photo by Bruce Karnick