Interpretive Center gears up for car show Aug. 31

Staff and volunteers at the Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center Museum are gearing up for its 17th annual Show & Shine car show Aug. 31.

“We had 23 cars at our first show,” said General Manager Rob Peterson. “Last year we had 173 cars registered and more than 1,200 visitors voting on their favorites.”

Second only to the annual auction and dinner, the car show is a major fundraiser for the museum.

“The fee to enter a car is just $20,” said Peterson, “and there is no charge for spectators. There will be a food booth with great burgers, ‘dogs, and even strawberry shortcake. We also will be raffling off a lot of nice items donated by local businesses, ranging in value from $10 to $200.”

Gates will open at 10 a.m. for participants, with the show running from noon to 4 p.m. There will be an auto-oriented swap meet on the grounds, with each space costing $20. Fifty-fifty tickets will be sold, with the winner taking home half the earnings. Last year’s winner pocketed more than $300.

Peterson, who has been the chief organizer for all 16 previous shows, said that each entrant will receive a goody bag of donated items plus a dash plaque for their car. Awards will be presented in 22 categories, ranging from the top prize of People’s Choice-Best of Show, to Participants’ Choice and Best Car Club Participant.

“People really seem to enjoy the interactive aspect to our show,” said Peterson. “It’s competitive but in a very fun way.”

For a rural area with relatively low population, Skamania County boasts a lot of hobbyists who restore old cars, said Peterson.

“One of my favorite things about the show is seeing the cars that turn out that we’ve never seen before. Last year we even had a World War II half track from Carson, which the owners drove over the Carson Ridge to get here so they could stay off Highway 14. And it was gorgeous.”

The Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center Museum is located at 990 S.W. Rock Creek Drive in Stevenson. For more information call 509-427-8211.

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