Wednesday, August 30, 2023
Hot cars, cold refreshments, burgers, music and fun with family and friends – all these things equal a perfect recipe for holiday entertainment. And they’ll all be found at the 24th annual Labor Day Car Show in Fairfax City.
Set for Monday, Sept. 4, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., it’s held rain or shine and is jointly sponsored by the City and the Clifton Lions Club. And all the proceeds go to local charities.
Cars, trucks and motorcycles will line University Drive between Armstrong Street and Sager Avenue and will also be displayed in the Truist Bank parking lot at 4020 University Drive. (University Drive in that area will be closed to traffic from 6 a.m.-4 p.m.).
The show features a wide range of vehicles, including hot rods from the 1940s and ’50s, muscle cars like Mustangs, Corvettes and Ford GTs, and foreign cars such as Jaguars, Mercedes, Porsches and Bentleys. Trucks, antique cars from the 1920s and ’30s, plus classic, custom and brand-new cars will be on display, as well.
Event Co-Chairmen are Lions Club Past President Bill Poole and City Councilmember Jeff Greenfield, with help from Mitzi Taylor and Deanne Payne of the Fairfax City Parks and Rec Department, plus the entire Clifton Lions membership. Their committee works year ‘round planning the show.
“I’m pleased that it has such a wide variety of cars that’ll appeal to the youngest kids – who like the bright colors and shiny vehicles – all the way to the hard-core, longtime, extremely knowledgeable, car enthusiasts,” said Poole. “I’m one of them; if it goes fast and makes a lot of noise, it’s something I like.”
The fun includes food, deejay music by Bach 2 Rock and possibly a live band, too, as well as vendor booths and raffles. Most importantly, though, the car show raises money for two worthy causes. Entry and parking are free, but tax-deductible donations are accepted – with proceeds mainly benefiting the Cloverleaf Equine Center (formerly called the Northern Virginia Therapeutic Riding Program; see https://www.cloverleafequinecenter.org) and Inova Hospital System’s Life with Cancer (www.lifewithcancer.org).
People may register vehicles to participate at www.labordaycarshow.org or outside Fire Station 3 at 4081 University Drive, the day of the event, from 6 a.m.-noon. Information about the two main charities will also be available at the registration desk. And Boy & Girl Scout Troop 893 from Centreville will hand out programs at the show’s Sager and University entrance and will also collect donations there for the Lion Club’s charities.
Some 6,500 spectators attended last year’s event. And weather permitting, said Poole, “We hope to get that number or more, this year, to view the more than 300 vehicles on display.” The festivities also include a special, noontime ceremony at the fire station, featuring Fairfax City’s American Legion Post 177 Color Guard, local dignitaries and the singing of the National Anthem.
Also in that area will be food and beverages for sale. Lions Club members will be grilling and selling hot dogs, hamburgers and Italian sausage. The always popular Inside Scoop ice cream truck and Rita’s Italian Ice will offer refreshing treats, and Cub Scout Pack 1860 of Union Mill Elementary will be selling water as a fundraiser. In addition, many restaurants in Old Town Fairfax will be open.
Over the event’s 23-year history, it’s raised nearly $650,000 for charity. This year marks the eighth time the show has been held in Fairfax, and last year’s yielded almost $40,000. So by the end of this one, the organizers expect to have raised about $240,000 in those eight years. Best of all, every bit of that money goes directly to the recipient charities since this event has no administrative costs – everyone’s a volunteer.
Poole said the car show should amass a minimum of $15,000 for each of the two primary charities. Proceeds will also benefit American Legion Post 177, plus A Place to Eat, which supports the food pantries at all four Fairfax City schools. Poole hopes, as well, to donate $1,500 each to the City of Fairfax fire and police departments.
Even the funds from the Clifton Lions Club food sales that day go to the many charities the club supports, including The Lamb Center in Fairfax City. Volunteers will collect donations at University Drive and Armstrong Street.
More than 40 trophies will be awarded to the various vehicles, with most of the winners selected by the spectators viewing them. Participants will vote on the top cars, including Best of Show. There’ll also be Mayor’s, Kids’, Ladies’ and People’s Choice trophies, one each for Best Motorcycle and Best Truck, and a Buddy Morrissette Memorial Trophy. Morrissette died in December 2016, but he helped put on this show for years.
For the second year, all the voting will be done electronically. Every car will have a QR Code in its window, and people just have to scan it on their phones to vote online for their favorites. The vehicle owners come from Maryland, North Carolina, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Virginia and beyond to show their cars to an appreciative crowd.
“This show is an excellent way to see some of the collectors’ cars and exotic cars,” said Poole. “And it’s a great opportunity to support the City of Fairfax, the Clifton Lions Club and all the charities for which they raise money.”
Those unable to attend the event, but wishing to help by making a contribution may do so either via PayPal at https://www.labordaycarshow.org/make-a-donation or by sending a check, payable to the Clifton Lions Club, to: Clifton Lions Club, P.O. Box 41, Clifton, VA 20124. For further information, go to www.labordaycarshow.org.