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Saturday
May 28th, 2022

car showA line of vintage cars is parked at Billy’s for the Friday portion of a recent edition of the Yellow Brick Road Car Show. This year’s show gets under way Friday with registration and a concert at Billy’s. Saturday will start at 8 a.m. at Light Park with registration and will end with awards being handed out at 3 p.m. L&T file photo/Robert PierceROBERT PIERCE • Leader & Times

 

Ford’s Deuce Coupe is one of the most well-known classic cars of all time, immortalized in the Beach Boys hit song, “Little Deuce Coupe.”

The Deuce was introduced in 1932, and this year marks 90 years of the vintage ride, and locally, the Yellow Brick Road Car Show is celebrating the anniversary by making the automobile its theme for 2022.

Show coordinator Bill Hill said the event entitled “90 Years of the Deuce,” which takes this  Friday and Saturday at Billy’s Ayr Lanes and Light Park, looks to be a great 16th edition of the show.

“We’ve got Deuces coming from Illinois, Nevada and all over the country,” he said. “That’s going to help out too. We have a lot of people from Colorado coming.”

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Hill explained the significance of the Deuce in automobile history.

“With the Deuce, that’s the first year they made the V8 Ford, and Ford had come out with the flathead V8,” he said. “That’s one thing that makes it so popular.”

Hill said participants will start coming to town Thursday. Friday registration will start at 11 a.m. at Billy’s.

“If you’re registered in the show, you get the free barbecue meal for participants only,” he said.

For several years, Friday’s portion of the car show has included a concert, and this year’s is no exception. The band this year is Elton Dan and the Rocket Band, specializing in the music of Rod Stewart, Fleetwood Mac and Elton John. Hill said seating for the concert, which will be inside Billy’s, will be limited.

“They’re going to play at 6:30, 7:30, 8:30 and 9:30,” he said. “With the limited seating, the participants of the car show get priority to the first two sessions of the music, and after that, it’s going to be open seating, first come, first serve. You can’t reserve seats for 10 people. If there’s two of you there, there’s two of you there. You can’t go out and reserve a whole bunch of seats for your friends and show up at 8:30.”

Saturday’s portion of the car show will run from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m., when awards are given out, and all of this will take place at Light Park. Hill said weather conditions, as well as the park itself, look to be ideal for this weekend.

“Everything looks great,” he said. “It’s all coming together, and we want to bring everybody out we can. Also for this year, we brought in some bouncy houses for the little kids. This year, we won’t have the cornhole tournament due to graduation.”

Just as the rides seen in the Yellow Brick Road Car Show come from all over the country, so too, Hill said, the spectators will come from Liberal’s surrounding communities.

“We want everybody in the whole area, not just Liberal, to come out and really enjoy out,” he said. “We should have a really nice show this year.”

The car show started in 2007, and this marks the 16th edition. Hill said the show’s success can be contributed to a lot of hard work, which he said gets harder with each passing year.

“The big stumbling block was COVID, but we made it through and still had a show that year,” he said. “We keep prepping every year.”

Last year alone, Hill visited communities across America, including Des Moines, Iowa, Columbus, Ohio, Nashville, Scottsdale, Ariz., and Loveland, Colo., as well as some parts of California promoting the local car show.

“We go to a lot of shows and meet a lot of people there and try to promote our show and tell them how good our show is down here in Liberal, Kansas, in the middle of the United States,” he said. “It pays off because we’re getting people from all over, and we’d like all the locals to join us too to meet all these people. It’s good for everybody.”

For 2022, Hill said some shows have already taken place in the western U.S. and Florida, as well other parts of southeast America, but the Yellow Brick Road Car Show is most likely the first of its kind for the year in the Midwest.

“Even the bigger shows haven’t come up yet,” he said. “They’ve been down in Texas. The same weekend as our show, they’re having a big one in Nashville. I think people are ready to get out. They’ve been couped up long enough. It’s time to get out.”

In its beginnings, Hill’s car show took place in The Plaza across from Light Park, and while this was a great location for the event, he said the growth of the show brought the need for a new place for it. He said the park is quite ideal for the size of his show.

“It’s real nice over at the park,” he said. “The park is just excellent. I personally don’t like to park out in the trees, but we have spots over there where you don’t have to park under trees. Some people like to park under trees to get the shade. It’s whatever they want.”

In addition to the bounce houses, Light Park has a playground for kids, and Hill said this makes for a family atmosphere where spectators can feel right at home.

“The people who come to the show, they’re willing to talk to you about their vehicles,” he said. “Sometimes, they let the kids sit down. They take pictures with them. The park atmosphere is just a good atmosphere for it, and we have one of the greatest parks I’ve been to across the country.”

Car registrations for the Yellow Brick Road Car Show will take place up until 11 a.m. Saturday. 

“It’s going to be from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Billy’s on Friday and from about 8 to 11 a.m. Saturday,” Hill said. “To get your vehicle in, it has to go in on its own. You can’t tow it in there. You can’t haul it in on a trailer. It’s got to be able to go in the show on its own.”

With the car show but days away, Hill said excitement has been building for quite some time for this weekend.

“I’ve been getting a lot of phone calls, about six to 10 every day now, from people telling me they’re coming,” he said. “I’ve talked to some of the motel people, and they’re getting full. The Thunderbird said they’ve got quite a few people coming in from Texas, Colorado and Oklahoma staying in his place over there. The people who drive our cars all over the country, we like to stay in a ’50s style motel. That’s a good one right there. That’s one of the best ones in the country. I’m really happy for the show. I’m glad we’ve got it put together. The weather’s coming around, and I’m pretty excited.”