IOLA, Wis. _ The Iola Car Show, one of the largest and longest-running collector car events in the Midwest, has joined the long list of shows to have fallen victim to the COVID-19 pandemic. Show organizers announced today that the July 2020 show has been canceled, but plans are in the works to organize a rally on show weekend.
"It is with a heavy heart that I have the unfortunate duty of announcing the cancellation of the 2020 Iola Car Show and Swap Meet. After careful deliberation, and with the best information available at this time, the Board of Directors and Iola Car Show Team have made this decision feeling it is the only responsible option," organizers said in a press release. "The monumental task of producing this world class event is heavily dependent on the thousands of volunteers who aid in this effort. We simply cannot produce the show without the ability to ensure the safety, confidence, and comfort of all involved – and everyone’s safety is our top priority. It is also impossible to predict what measures and mandates may be relaxed or removed by the time of the show.
"We fully recognize that the loss of this event will put many of the 130 organizations who depend on our show for financial support, and Iola Old Car Show, Inc. itself in a very difficult financial position. Furthermore, we are very aware that many of our swap vendors, who are a cornerstone of the event, have had much of their season of commerce fully disrupted if not destroyed. It is for that reason that we have now shifted gears from preparing for the 48th Annual Iola Car Show event into preparation for alternative festivities."
Planning for the Rally is under development and will include a drive through the show grounds and street cruise, scheduled for July 11th. Not only is this the scheduled Saturday of the show, it’s also National Collector Car Appreciation Day. "This event will allow everyone the opportunity to safely celebrate and enjoy key elements of the historic show, while providing essential support to help preserve the organization through these difficult times," the press release said.
Additionally, while the traditional show is cancelled, we are only postponing the swap meet and flea market features of the event at this time. We hope as the summer progresses, we will be able to select dates that allow our swap vendors and shoppers the opportunity to gather and do business later this summer or fall. Those dates will be selected as more information becomes available.
Show staff will be sending out notices to preregistered exhibitors and campers regarding options for carry-overs to 2021, refunds and donations.
"The beauty and magic of the Iola Car Show is not something provided by one group or segment, but rather by the assembly of many parts," the press release said. "We have second, third and fourth generations of swappers, show car exhibitors, campers and volunteers. Together, we are a powerful engine! I am confident that despite these unprecedented challenges, we will overcome this together."