It’s April and that means it’s time for the Rotary Club’s 26th annual April Action Car Show. The yearly event will start in Swanny Park on Friday, April 27 and run through Sunday, April 29. The main event — the show itself — will be Saturday in the park.
Friday features the Friday Rod Run. A fleet of classic cars will make its way to Green River for lunch. Pre-registration for the show is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Swanny Park.
From 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, cars will enter the park. Organizers expect around 450 participants. Rotary Club member John Fogg, who has been involved since the second year of the event, said that the show is actually slightly smaller than it used to be due to the construction of the Moab Recreation and Aquatic Center.
“Now we can only get 500 cars in there. It used to be 700,” Fogg said.
Still, Fogg loves to see the crowds on the day of the show, which he said is his favorite part of the event. “There’s a lot of satisfaction there for me.”
On Sunday, trophy presentation for the show’s winners will occur at 9 a.m. Then at 10 a.m. the Sunday Rod Run will roll out of town, headed for Red Cliffs Lodge.
The show started in 1992 as an event organized by the Moab Rod Benders, a now-defunct car club. For the past six years the Rotary Club has overseen the show, which acts as a fundraiser for the Moab Free Health Clinic. Last year the Rotary Club donated approximately $12,000 to the clinic, most of which was fundraised through the car show.
The event itself raises around $25,000, said Rotary Club member Dave Bierschied. Extra car show proceeds go to the Rotary Club’s other community endeavors, including a number of scholarships for local high school students.
Jon McKay, a show organizer with the Rotary Club, also said that entries in the show have seen a downward trend, thanks to the expense of finding lodging in Moab. “Some of the feedback that we’ve gotten is that Moab is a rather expensive place to stay ... there’s a lot of different car shows out there. Our car show is a great car show. People love it but at the same time when people are on a budget, costs can be somewhat prohibitive for folks,” McKay said.
McKay and Fogg both emphasized that the car show organizers have been working with neighbors to accommodate concerns about the amount of noise and inconvenience that park events generate.
Fogg said car show organizers have changed set-up times to be later in the morning, so that loud metal barricades being set up at 5 a.m. do not disturb neighbors. The car show has also reduced its use of roadblocks so neighbors can access their homes during the show. When cars line up to get into the show — which can happen as early as 3 a.m. the day of the show — Fogg and other organizers have asked them to line up between the Moab Recreation and Aquatic Center and Helen M. Knight Elementary School, as much away from residential homes as possible.
“We’d like them to line up at 8 a.m., but at 3 a.m. there’s always a line of cars,” Fogg said.
McKay added, “There’s a lot of people that come together to try and minimize the impact on the people that surround the park. We’re doing things like pushing back set-up times, we’ve met with all the city stakeholders to make sure that the traffic is handled as well as can be. We’re pretty proud of the show and as you can see it’s a great fundraiser for the Moab Free Health Clinic. It’s great that it’s free for the community. They can come through and we encourage them to come out and support everybody and support the vendors that are there.”