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June 14th, 2021

car show 2020Visitors to last year’s Yellow Brick Road Car Show get a look at some of these rides at Light Park. L&T file photo/Robert PierceROBERT PIERCE • Leader & Times

 

For several years, one weekend in May has seen hot rodders from across the nation coming in Liberal.

This coming Friday and Sunday will once again have classic car enthusiasts at Liberal’s Light Park for the annual Yellow Brick Road Car Show.

This year’s show will focus largely on two classic Ford models, the familiar Thunderbird and the not-so-familiar T-Bucket, the latter of which is a hot rod based on the Ford Model T of the 1915 to 1927 era, but extensively modified.

Show coordinator Bill Hill said both models will be coming to the show from near and far.

“We got some T-Birds coming out of Kansas City, and around here, we have some really nice T-Buckets,” he said. “Larry George and his brother have some. It’ll be unique to see those cars.”

Friday registration starts at 11 a.m. at Billy’s Blue Duck BBQ, and at 5 p.m., those who have registered will get a free barbecue buffet. Around 7 p.m., a concert will be provided by the Amarillo, Texas-based band Insufficient Funds.

“They were here last year,” Hill said. “They put on a good show. The weather’s going to be great. It’s free to everybody.”

Saturday morning, cars will start coming into Light Park as early as 6 a.m., with the show running from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and awards given out starting at 3.

The Yellow Brick Road Car Show’s major sponsor, Mothers Car Care, is back this year, and an estimated $5,000 in prizes will be given out.

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Hill said one of the show’s cars will come from Lake Tahoe, Nev., with many others coming from states like Arizona and Colorado.

“It’s still tight,” he said. “Colorado’s still under that COVID deal. We’re getting calls all the time and text messages. ‘Do we have to wear a mask? What’s the COVID laws?’ Some people are still a little leery about traveling, but we hope we have a good show. The registered numbers are down a little bit from what we’re used to, but I think that still has to do with COVID. And people wait until the week of to see what the weather’s going to be at that time.”

Along with Colorado, New Mexico has had tight COVID restrictions, but Hill said he still looks for big numbers from both states.

KSCB will host a cornhole tournament Saturday morning, and food vendors will have items like shaved ice, root beer, funnel cakes, hamburgers and hot dogs for hungry car enthusiasts.

“The show’s going to be great,” Hill said. “It gets us all back out. I just think it’s going to be great deal for people to meet up with people again to say, ‘Hi.’ I’d like to go back to shaking hands. I never did like bumping fists. We need to get back going and get our real life back to us if we can. I hope the general public, all the people in the area, comes out, enjoys and has a good time.”

With COVID hitting America last year, last year’s Yellow Brick Road Car Show was postponed slightly to Father’s Day weekend from its normal Mother’s Day weekend schedule. Despite this, Hill said the show still went well.

“We had 287 participants,” he said. “That was a good number for what was going on. It was just a little bit too late for us. We try to look at wheat harvest and things going on.”

This year, the show was moved back to May, this time the weekend after Mother’s Day. Hill said that move will help the show in the long run.

“Once we get COVID cleared out, I think moving it back to this weekend will help us out,” he said.

Hill said future shows will likely be kept on the weekend after Mother’s Day.

“This is our 15th year, and it was always on Mother’s Day,” he said. “I just decided to move it back one weekend. It’s still a little bit early, but I hope this weekend works out real good. I think we’re going to keep it at this weekend.”

When the Yellow Brick Road Car Show started, it initially took place in The Plaza across the street from Light Park, and when numbers were smaller, Hill said that location worked well. Rising numbers over the years, though, have made Light Park a more ideal location for the show.

“When the younger kids come, it gives them a place they can play,” he said. “Not all little kids want to walk around with Mom and Dad and look at cars all the time. We can spread out a little more. There’s more shade. Some people like to park their cars under the trees and have shade. As our show grew, we needed a lot of space, and our park is one of the most beautiful parks in the country.”

Hill said if the City of Liberal continues to allow him to use the park, Light Park will most likely be kept as the show’s home, and in 2022, he sees an even bigger show than this year.

With this year being the 15th edition of the Yellow Brick Road Car Show, Hill said his biggest motivations for continuing the show center around the love of cars and seeing local and area people getting to see things they may not normally get to see.

“It’s a big deal to help out the community, to give our community something,” he said. “One of these days, I’m going to have to turn the baton over to somebody else, but I want to do it for our community to help us out. It’s fun to see the looks on people’s faces who haven’t ever seen something before or a car like that before.”

Throughout the year, Hill visits car shows in other states, and a trend he is seeing across America is many other shows are coming back as the COVID-19 pandemic eases up in many areas.

“The big shows are coming back that were all cancelled last year,” he said. “When they start coming back, people are coming back. I think it’ll take us a year or so to get ours back to the amount, but it’s going to happen. The motivation is the love of it and to see the people and let people see and help our community out in every way. We need to help the community. Everybody needs to help the community.”

To say the least, Hill is excited for next weekend’s Yellow Brick Road Car Show.

“Let’s get out people,” he said. “Let’s get out and do it. Take your precautions if you want to, but let’s get out and get going again. I’m fired up about the show. I hope it’s a good turnout.”

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