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SALT LAKE CITY — Throughout the summer, classic car owners and enthusiasts gather to admire vintage vehicles and sometimes to benefit the community.
LT Weese, owner of Northern Realty and president of Military Task Force, started several of these car shows, including the recurring Northern Realty car shows at Layton Hills Mall and the largest show in northern Utah, Sounds of Freedom.
“You know, it’s just a way for people to get out and have fun,” Weese said. “We’ve done lots of different things. We’ve done haunted houses and MMA nights and carnivals, but nothing like a car show has drawn out the community and the people, so that's why we've stuck with the car shows.”
Northern Realty began doing car shows after Sept. 11, 2001, to bring the community together for charity. When the shows started growing, Col. Scott Long of Hill Air Force Base and the late Mayor Steve Curtis of Layton asked if they could create something bigger to create more of an impact.
Four years ago, Weese started Sounds of Freedom, a show hosted by the Northern Wasatch Association of Realtors that draws about 15,000 people and raises thousands of dollars for the military and other charities, Weese said.
This year, the Northern Realty and Sounds of Freedom car shows will benefit the Vietnam Veteran Memorial Wall, which will be built by Vietnam Veterans of America in Layton.
A $500,000 project, the Vietnam Veteran Memorial Wall will be 120 yards wide, 80 percent of the size of the one in Washington, Weese said.
Friday at 5 p.m., there will be a car show at Northern Realty at Layton Hills Mall. These car shows will occur once a month, with the next being June 26. The Northern Realty car shows and the Sounds of Freedom are free of charge, Weese said.
Blaine Thompson, co-owner of Rockin’ Hotrod Productions, a car show promoter, puts on more than 100 car shows and cruise nights throughout the year and is the DJ for the national show, Salt Lake Autorama, which occurs in March each year.
Cruise nights are free for the car owners, but car shows require a fee, which is donated to the charities.
Saturday, locals will gather at Rite Aid at 2378 E. 7000 South in Cottonwood Heights from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. to benefit Primary Children’s Hospital, Thompson said.
Monday, another show will benefit a a little boy named Carson who has Duchenne muscular dystrophy. The show will be at Jim’s Family Restaurant in Riverton on 12800 South and Redwood Road from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Rockin’ Hotrod Productions car shows run from April to October and benefit organizations like the Special Olympics and the Children’s Justice Center.
At the shows, they play ’50s and ’60s music, businesses give out awards and Rockin' Hotrod Productions issues dash plaques, or trading cards the car owners collect, and socialize.
It gives people a chance to enjoy some of the past that we're slowly losing and it gives the young children a chance to look at the old classic cars that their parents used to drive.
–Blaine Thompson, co-owner, Rockin' Hotrod Productions
Average cruise nights draw about 50 classic cars and a car show draws anywhere from 100 to 300 cars, Thompson said.
Thompson said they do these car shows to keep the nostalgia alive, to give classic car owners a chance to get together and show off their work and to give spectators a chance to go back in time.
“It gives people a chance to enjoy some of the past that we’re slowly losing and it gives the young children a chance to look at the old classic cars that their parents used to drive,” Thompson said.
Another classic car show called Cruise Night will occur the third Wednesday of each month from May to October at Station Park on Park Lane at the southeast parking lot near Harmon's, according to Karen Boe, president of Boe Marketing, the public relations agency for Station Park.
Typically drawing at least 100 to 150 cars, the third annual cruise night begins Wednesday, Boe said.
In addition to looking at the classic cars, families can experience games, face painting, balloon animals and prizes. The first 100 guests will get a commemorative dash plaque and those who win the car contest will get station park gift cards, Boe said.
J.C. Hackett will DJ the event.
This event is free and open to the public and will occur May 20, June 17, July 15, August 19, Sept. 26 and Oct. 21 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the southeast parking lot near Harmon's.
Boe said Station Park is a big part of the community and a great gathering place for Farmington.
"We see four generations of families coming all together, so it really is a nice chance for families to get together and come enjoy each other's company as well as, you know, take a look at the classic cars," Boe said. "I think everybody loves cars."
Dozens of car shows will occur throughout the summer.
Here are some car shows happening this month, according to Utah Car Czar, which also lists car shows for the rest of the summer.
Pioneer Park Cruise Night, Pioneer Park in Salt Lake City, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Station Park Cruise Night, Station Park in Farmington, 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Chick-Fil-A Charity Car Show, Chick-Fil-A in Layton, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Carlos & Harley’s Cruise Night, Carlos & Harley’s Mex Cantina in Eden, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
SoDa Row Cruise Night, SoDa Row in South Jordan, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Northern Realty Cruise Night, Layton Hills Mall, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Laughing Gas Motorsports Car Show, Laughing Gas Motorsports in Ogden, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Rite Aid Children’s Network Car Show, Rite Aid at 2378 E. 7000 South in Cottonwood Heights, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Original Side by Side Car Show, Snow College, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Dame Stella Striker’s Car Show, H&D BBQ, Cottonwood Heights, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Season of Sundays — May Flowers, Village Inn, Ogden, 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Jim’s Family Restaurant Cruise Night, Jim’s Family Restaurant in Riverton, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Astro Burgers Cruise Night, Astro Burgers in South Jordan, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Atria Senior Living Center, Atria Senior Living Center in Sandy, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Burger Stop Cruise Night, Burger Stop in Layton, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Valley Fair Mall Cruise Night, Valley Fair Mall, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Callie’s Cafe Cruise Night, Callie’s Cafe in Orem, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Rods, Hogs & Rigs Car Show, Maverik Center, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Northern Utah VW Club Charity Car Show, Smith’s Marketplace in West Jordan, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Golden Living Classic Car Show, Golden Living Taylorsville, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Denny’s Car Show, Denny’s in Ogden at 1250 Washington Blvd., 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Eat, Greet, Car Meet, presented by RallySport Direct, RallySport Direct in Draper, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Ed Kenley Ford Car Show, Ed Kenley Ford in Layton, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Sonic Drive-In Cruise Night, Sonic in Centerville, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.