(Lana Rodlie photo)

Cruisin’ the Columbia rolls onto Trail Esplanade this weekend

Annual car show will be in downtown Trail this year

This year’s Cruisin’ the Columbia car show won’t be held in Gyro Park. Instead, the popular show-and-shine is moving to the Esplanade in downtown Trail.

The show, which is sponsored by the West Kootenay Smoke ‘n Steel car club, attracted over 130 cars last year and hopes to do the same, or more, this year.

The switch to downtown will be a bonus for local eateries and businesses.

“Many people expressed how they’d like the option of going to a restaurant or having a cold one rather than sitting in the park all day,” said Bill Edwards, president of the West Kootenay Smoke ‘n Steel car club, which sponsors the annual event traditionally on the Father’s Day weekend.

The club will host a free “poker walk” on the Saturday. Participants can visit various shops in downtown Trail and collect a playing card from each one. The person who can make up the best poker hand out of the cards they pick is the winner.

This year’s event has been stretched over three days, with pre-registration on Friday (June 14) at the Trail Beer Refinery. Saturday morning, the Lions Club is hosting a pancake breakfast, starting at 8 a.m. The show and shine will go from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday.

Adding to the excitement will be two markets – one on Cedar Avenue and one in the White Garden at Jubilee Park.

Also new this year: the club will be using its new state-of-the-art sound system, thanks to funding from the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary Area B and the Columbia Basin Trust.

Club members Wes Robinson and Paul Turner have spent the last year coming up with some 50 fantastic trophies designed for the winners – the most trophies of any car show in the Kootenays.

In addition to the classic cars, lowriders, super cars, modified, foreign vehicles and hot rods, the club is expecting a large contingency of Corvettes from the Spokane Corvette Club.

There will also be a large display of 4 x 4s from the Four Wheel Drive Association of B.C.

Sunday morning, the club is hosting a car rally – basically a scavenger hunt, sponsored by Teck Metals Ltd. Drivers and their “navigators” are given a set of instructions to follow and identify various landmarks along a pre-arranged route.

Anyone in any vehicle can join this, for the fun – you don’t have to have a classic car or be registered in the show. There is no entry-fee, only that drivers have a passenger to help them identify the various signposts or markers along the way. To enter the rally, just be at the Cominco Arena-Victoria Street parking lot on Sunday morning at 10 a.m. The car that identifies the most markers wins, and the club has some great prizes. The rally ends in Castlegar at Chances Casino where participants can join the Father’s Day (non-judged) car show in the parking lot and prize-winners will be announced.

Pre-registration for Cruisin’ the Columbia will be held at the Trail Beer Refinery on Friday, June 14 from 3 to 7 p.m. Cost is $20 per vehicle. Registration on the day of the show begins at 8 a.m. and the show goes from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Smoke ‘n Steel members meet every Tuesday throughout the summer at 6 p.m. at A & W for a short cruise. Car buffs with a special ride are always welcome to join.

For more information, contact Bill Edwards at 250 368-3127.

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