BCHRA director Dave Tomlinson’s 1956 Chevy Belair. (Dave Tomlinson / BCHRA.ca)

Hot Rod Sunday rolls into Cloverdale town centre on July 16

BIA aims to create annual, community-wide ‘Cloverdale Country Festival,’ with car show as foundation

The British Columbia Hot Rod Association (BCHRA) is rolling their annual show and shine into Cloverdale on Sunday, July 16, and organizers say they are looking to make it an annual, community-wide country festival.

For this first year, however, the focus is on building up the “Hot Rod Sunday” event.

Hundreds of hot rods and classic vehicles will be on display, as well as displays from the BC Vintage Truck Museum and the Canadian Military Education Centre.

“We’ll have all kinds of cars,” said Walt Wagner, BCHRA director. “From hot rods to classic to vintage, muscle cars, the whole gamut.”

“There’ll be something for everybody,” added Dave Tomlinson, BCHRA director.

The show will take place on 176 and 176A Street in downtown Cloverdale from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The free event will have classic food fare, including hot dogs, hamburgers, cotton candy and lemonade, along with a stage with live rock ‘n’ roll music, a kids zone, and nearly 20 vendors, offering everything from memorabilia to car appraisals.

Event’s goal to grow into a country festival

The hot rod event is “one of the first key parts to building a new Cloverdale Country Festival,” according to a press release from the Cloverdale BIA.

The BCHRA approached the BIA last fall and pitched the idea of hosting the show and shine in the Cloverdale town centre. Paul Orazietti, executive director of the Cloverdale BIA, jumped at the opportunity to bring classic cars back to the downtown business centre.

About 15 years ago, Cloverdale hosted an annual Country Festival that included a car show. It was the precursor to the once-popular Blueberry Festival, which stopped running in 2015.

The BIA was interested in resurrecting aspects of the original Country Festival but “the blueberries was something we kind of wanted to leave in the past,” said Orazietti.

Initially, Orazietti had planned to have “Country Festival components,” such as a buskers festival, spread throughout the town centre, branching out into Brick Yard Station and Clover Square Village, but those elements will not take place this year.

Hot Rod Sunday wants to return annually

This is the first time the Hot Rod Sunday event has been hosted in Cloverdale, but the BCHRA is already looking to put down roots.

“We hope to make downtown Cloverdale a permanent home for the show,” said Wagner.

“We go to shows all over the province, and the very best shows are in the community centres,” said Tomlinson. “They’re the best. The community supports us, and we support them. It’s a good match.”

The BCHRA supports the communities that host its car shows by putting thousands of dollars into local charities.

The upcoming July 16 show will benefit the Valley Therapeutic Equestrian Association (VTEA), a registered charity that provides therapeutic horseback riding for children and adults of varying abilities. Over the years, the BCHRA has given the VTEA more than $150,000, according to Tomlinson.

The event doesn’t charge spectators admission, but it does charge $20 to enter a vehicle. All net proceeds of the show are donated to the charity.

Not only do both Wagner and Tomlinson want to see Hot Rod Sunday return to Cloverdale next year, they also want to see it grow into a Country Festival that can claim to be Surrey’s second-largest event. (After the Vaisakhi Day Parade, of course.)

That’s what Orazietti would like to see as well.

“The goal is to come back and add activity throughout the whole town centre,” he said. “She’s a work in progress.”

For more information on Hot Rod Sunday, visit www.bchra.ca.