Summer is a treat for the senses but—let’s face it—also a bit messy. Barbecues, camping, and long sunny days keep our wardrobe casual and our cars overflowing with damp towels, sunscreen, and popsicle wrappers.
Take a day off from the mess and bring your whole family to the 18th annual Classy Chassis Car Show in Sumner. On Sunday, August 13, downtown Sumner (including Main Street) is closed to car traffic and transformed into an old fashioned Main Street, complete with vintage automobiles and the city’s famous rhubarb pie.
City Communications Director Carmen Palmer explains that despite an almost 20-year history, “it’s the first year that the City itself is organizing the event. In past years, we supported and sponsored it. There are many things it supports to keep our town, especially our downtown, beautiful: the purchase and daily watering of the hanging baskets, banners on lampposts like the current patriotic pie banners, and helping owners with façade improvements.”
Car owners wanting to show off their buffed and polished babies can register online or at in person at City Hall. If you sign up before August 1, the cost is $20, after that it’s $25. While on-site registration is allowed starting at 7:00 a.m. on the August 13, advance sign-up guarantees a smoother, speedier check-in. The first 200 registrants also receive a commemorative dash plaque celebrating their hot rod, classic car, or truck.
Running 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m., the show is free to attend. In the past, more than 200 gleaming cars were on display. With some roads closed for the event, Palmer stresses that getting there won’t be difficult. “Logistically, Main Street and many of its side-roads will be closed down to traffic. Attendees can come into Sumner using Maple Street with lots of street parking. As it’s a Sunday, people can also park in city lots, including the Red Apple Lot and the City Hall employee lot. Of course, being Sumner, it’s also a great place to park a bit away and stroll around or ride a bike into Classy Chassis itself.”
Reyna Gonzalez, Social Media and Public Relations Director for Sunset Chevrolet, is proud that their dealership is this year’s major sponsor. They’re active with charities and events throughout the region and prides themselves that “Sunset’s involvement in the community is as timeless as the dealership itself.”
But more than just cars, Classy Chassis puts Sumner itself on display. “There are lots of great car shows in lots and fields, but this one really puts the cars back in their ‘native environment’ on a classic Main Street USA,” Palmer explains. “For vehicle owners and onlookers, it’s also a great time to rediscover downtown Sumner.”
“We have a lot of new stores and restaurants, including Voila Art Studio and Hometown Charm Café,” Palmer continues. “For that reason, the existing stores and restaurants are our vendors, rather than tents or trucks. You can get everything from cinnamon rolls to crepes, salads to pizza, and, of course, Sumner’s famed rhubarb pie works well for breakfast and lunch. The show ends at 3:00 p.m., so there’s also time for dinner in downtown or maybe farther away at other Sumner restaurants. Sorci’s Italian Cafe, Stuck Junction Saloon, and Windmill Bistro all have great outdoor seating areas because, of course, the weather will be perfect and beautiful, right?”
Summer Sundays are ideal for meandering, window shopping, and enjoying the simple delights of yesteryear. “These classic cars are such a unifier,” says Palmer. “You’ll see entire families stopping by after church and car enthusiasts who know every inch of their vehicle. Some people spot cars similar to ones they drove 50 years ago, maybe on their first date, while younger people are seeing vehicles without onboard navigation systems for the first time!”
Whether you love chromed hot rods or pie a la mode, Classy Chassis celebrates old-time Americana and small-town charm for that true summertime win/win.