MATTHEWS, NC – If you’re looking for a family-friendly excursion this Labor Day, stop by downtown Matthews for the 30th Anniversary Auto Reunion & Motorcycle Show!
The Auto Show started three decades ago after a bunch of car buffs in the Chamber got together and wanted to use the opportunity as a Chamber fundraiser. “They knew they could pull participants as far as 40 miles in any direction as long as it didn’t rain,” says Matthews Chamber Executive Director Jessica Tullar. “So, I guess you could say now it’s just a Chamber tradition!”
From 9:00 am to 3:00 pm, upwards of 130 cars and motorcycles will line Matthews Station Street. A DJ will be on site blasting tunes, and several local vendors will be distributing information or selling snacks.
Car owners can pre-register online until 12:00 pm on Sunday, September 5, but registration will also be available on-site beginning at 8:00 am on the 6th. The show is open to anyone who would like to enter, and there is a non-judged option for entry as well. On-site registration will close at 10:00 am.
“We still have plenty of spots available for cars!” encourages Tullar, noting that some discerning car owners prefer to wait to see the weather the day of. “We’re hoping for a good day and good weather!”
This 30th anniversary event is possible in large part thanks to the sponsorship of Atrium Health. “They’ve been a longtime sponsor, but they will not have a presence this year due to the COVID surge,” says Tullar. “They’re needed elsewhere, but we’re thankful for their support to continue the event.”
At a time when many other large-scale events are being cancelled or postponed, an event like the Auto Reunion & Motorcycle Show provides a way to gather safely. “Our Auto Reunion & Motorcycle Show naturally lends itself to being socially distant by nature,” says Tullar, noting that people are often separated by a car’s length. “Guests are very protective of their cars, so we know that we’re not going to touch them; we’re not going to touch each other. We’ll have hand sanitizing stations throughout the event, and we are providing masks should anyone want to wear them. It’s an event where we are not elbow to elbow; everything’s spread out.”
The event will be judged by car enthusiasts Thom Outen, David Kowalski, and Paul Roza. Dottie Boylston and Rick Greene will judge the motorcycles. In addition to the coveted “Best in Show” Cup and “Sponsor’s Choice,” the judges will select 18 different “Best in Class” winners ranging from “Best Chevrolet Factory Original” to “Best Street Car” and “Best Import.”
Monday’s event wouldn’t be possible without the generosity of several other local sponsors: Entertainment Sponsor Certified Collision Services, Silver Sponsors Atlantic Pinstriping & Vehicle Wraps and Twilitecs, Awards Sponsor State Farm (Briana Cicero-Johns), Print Sponsor Cotton Gin Printing & Graphics, and Community Partner Town of Matthews. Often car enthusiasts themselves, many sponsors enter a vehicle in the show as well!
You won’t want to miss the “Crackle Crank” at 12:00 pm – and if you’re downtown, you won’t be able to! “These cars, it sounds like they’re going to blow up!” says Matthews Chamber Financial and Event Coordinator Dawn Sigmund. “They all just rev their engines. They all want to be the loudest, and they just keep going going and going!”
The Matthews Chamber hopes that Monday will not only be the continuation of a beloved tradition but also an opportunity for families to get out and enjoy everything the Town of Matthews has to offer. “With everything being canceled or up in the air at this point, we’re still trying to provide a safe environment for people to get outside, enjoy the town of Matthews and enjoy the community,” says Tullar. “We want to be able to support a long standing event but also support some of the business and bring some attendance down here in a safe way.”
Learn more about the 30th Anniversary Auto Reunion & Motorcycle Show on the Matthews Chamber website: https://matthewschamber.org/events/auto-reunion/.