More Photos and Recap from Midwest Mopars in the Park
The 25th Annual Midwest Mopars in the Park National Car Show & Swap Meet was a record breaking success for the Midwest Mopars car club in every aspect of the two-day event.
With the preliminary move from Raceway Park to the Dakota County Fairgrounds under our belt in 2008, the Midwest Mopars Board of Directors set out to make the 25th anniversary of the club’s car show the biggest and best car show in the club’s history. The group of eight board members, led by show chairman, Gary Richgruber, set out to build on our success as the largest All Mopar car show in the Midwest the week following the conclusion of the 2008 show. Our planning and attention to detail paid off handsomely with the record breaking success of the 25th anniversary car show held on May 30 and 31, 2009.
While the final numbers are still being counted, preliminary numbers confirm that there were more than 1,000 show vehicles on the grounds, more than 8,000 spectators entered the gates, 335 swap spaces and more than 90 local & national vendors supporting our show.
While the task of planning this event rests solely with the board of directors, implementing and executing the show itself would not be possible without the volunteer show committee chairmen and the more than 200 volunteers who stepped up to the plate to cover every need imaginable.
This year’s show had many successes. The Mopar Tribute – a salute to Mopar history-making race car drivers and their cars was a huge success. The Mopar Tribute played a big role in attracting many of our spectators and participants to this year’s show. Al Meehan, club secretary, dedicated hundreds of hours of his time over the last year planning and coordinating the Mopar Tribute. In addition to thanking Al for all of his work in putting this tribute together, we’d like to especially thank Don and Joan Grotheer, “Akron” Arlen Vanke, Diane Sox, and “Miss Mighty Mopar” Judy Lilly for their participation in the Mopar Tribute. In addition, we’d like to thank Clark and Collene Rand for bringing two of the original Sox and Martin race cars and the tribute car hauler used to transport them to our show. A special thanks needs to be said to Jim Drain for bringing Judy Lilly’s first race car that he now owns and has painstakingly restored down to the last detail all the way from Pinellas Park, Florida to our show to be reunited with Judy Lilly after 41 years in a special ceremony. Thank you also goes to Fred Englehart for arranging and transporting Judy’s Volare’ to the show. And we’d like to thank Andy Helfer of Columbia, SC for agreeing to loan us Arlen Vanke’s 1968 National Championship car. Together, these history-making drivers and their cars were a huge addition to our show and played a key role in our show’s overall success.
Our show would not have been as successful without the support of our sponsoring vendors. This year Dan Patenaude, sponsorship chairman, broke all records by obtaining 90 sponsoring vendors. We would like to especially thank Dan and our three biggest sponsors of this year’s event: O’Reilly Auto Parts, White Bear Dodge and Manna Distribution Services. Please see our website midwestmopars.com for a complete listing of all of our 2009 show sponsors and see the more than 600 photos taken by our club member, Steve Benson and 417 photos taken by Kelly Andesen.
Event Photos by Kelly Andersen (417 Photos):
Midwest Mopars in the Park 2009 (673 Photos):