On Saturday, Allpar will have its annual car show at Teterboro Chrysler, in Little Ferry. By most standards, it’s a relatively easy event; the field has been chosen, the owners take care of clearing the space, there’s power on-site, and there are volunteers to help.
In advance, there are many decisions and preparations to make. We are fortunate to have a volunteer DJ, but he’s not a professional, and so we have to gather up and test his equipment first. Trophies have to be ordered in the right numbers, with the right plaques. Gifts have to be found or purchased and readied, packing lists made. Oh, and food is a whole ’nother thing.
The last two shows were good for over 50 cars each, so we have to plan for around sixty, including little signs with the car model and owner’s name, “goodie envelopes” (last year we gave out little things one at a time which didn’t work so well), registration sheets, etc. We need to get some money in fives and tens because people often pay the $10 entrance fee with a twenty. We need something to gather ballots and, later, tickets in. Mostly, we need to get everything organized well ahead of time.
Equipment to be moved out includes two or three sturdy folding tables, two canopies, and chairs, along with the DJ stuff, prizes, giveaways, grilles, food, water, trophies, and the various supplies that go along with it all. How much of that fits into a Valiant? Oh, and then there’s the signs that go out onto the road to direct people to the show. Where the !@$&@! did I put those last year? I still can’t find them — I have four or five stakes and some very small signs from ten years back. They may just have to do, I’ve searched the house top to bottom three times.
Then there’s the publicity, including listings with car clubs, newspapers, and web sites, and passing out fliers at other shows.
If it all comes off as planned, we will look — competent. If anything goes wrong, we will look like fools. What amazes me, sometimes, is just how many car shows there are, and how rarely things go wrong. There are a lot of dedicated volunteers making it happen, and I applaud them.