From North Carolina to Ontario, car lovers are hitting the highway and heading for Alden. It’s time for the Marilla Car, Truck & Cycle Show. And, yes, it is in Alden.
This year marks the 10th annual event, which includes vehicle displays, music festival (15 bands are on the slate), food and much more.
The event, which runs 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. today, is free to attend and $20 for those who enter a car to be displayed and judged.
Marilla remains in the title, but the event has moved to another town for the first time in its history. Mary Lynne Tarquini, one of the chairmen, offered reasoning for the decision, which has caused some controversy.
“Back in September, we had met with Marilla, and they were inquiring about doing a permit process,” Tarquini said. “Unfortunately, their permit process was due and they told us they could not ensure that we could have the event there, for sure, until late June. Unfortunately, planning a show like this, we need to book everybody way before.
“So at that point, we had a committee meeting and we decided that we needed to go look at different areas to look at a different venue. We can’t plan a show in two months. We did have to move the show to a different venue ... We had to move it for a reason: to have a good show and put on one the way we know how. It just didn’t work out. We don’t know what we’re going to do in the future.”
Its location has changed, but its mission has not – all proceeds for the auto show will go to Mercy Flight.
Tarquini said the charitable aspect is the best part of the show. Mercy Flight once rescued one of Tarquini’s close friends, who had been in an accident.
“Our main goal is to raise money for Mercy Flight,” Tarquini said. “I’m thankful that we have this type of service in our area because there’s a lot of areas that don’t, and it really makes a big difference in saving somebody’s life.”
The 15 bands on the docket include different genres of music, including country and rock, and there will be two stages – one in the gazebo area and one in the park area. The music will run all day, with the schedule up at marillaautoshow.com.
There will also be a karaoke contest at the gazebo stage with prizes for the top three winners.
Oh, and food – lots of food. Pizza, hot dogs, hamburgers, tacos – something for everyone.
The auto show features five celebrities, including Byron Cherry, “Coy Duke” from “The Dukes of Hazzard,” and Lou Santiago, host of the television show “Car Fix” on Velocity.
An estimated 20,000 people attend the show annually. There will be free shuttle service provided from Alden Bowling Center.
Eleven nonprofit organizations will have tables set up with the opportunity to raise money for their organizations. Mercy Flight is scheduled to land on the Alden High School grounds at 2 p.m.
“Being able to see people have fun, enjoy themselves and attend an event where the money is going to Mercy Flight, which is flying in the air and saving lives on a daily basis, that’s the most important thing,” Tarquini said.