Good Life

Find your thrills | Almost 1,000 cars, old and new, pull into the Bloomsburg Fairgrounds

The preserved interior of a vintage Studebaker was on display at last year’s Bloomsburg Nationals.
The preserved interior of a vintage Studebaker was on display at last year’s Bloomsburg Nationals. Photo submitted

If nothing else, a car show at least offers ample parking.

Carlisle Events is shooting for a bit more from the Bloomsburg Nationals, their annual car festival and traffic jam waiting to happen.

Almost 1,000 cars will pull in to the Bloomsburg Fairgrounds Aug. 14-16, a collection of classics and modern masterpieces that can trace their lineage anywhere from the 1930s to the 1980s.

“It’s living, breathing history. These cars work, they drive,” Carlisle Events spokesman Mike Garland said.

Functionality and form are crucial components of the Bloomsburg Nationals, one of 13 car shows held by Carlisle Events every year.

While other shows are distinguished by a theme, the Bloomsburg event is open to automobiles, trucks and motorcycles of all kinds.

Last year’s menagerie of mufflers included a 1969 Ford Mustang and a 1979 El Camino.

“It can be anything from early-era production to modern day,” Garland said.

Still, if you’ve seen 1,000 cars, you’ve seen them all, and even the most devoted of automobile aficionados can get a little restless spinning their wheels.

The real action will be happening during the demolition derby, a match between two cars that have been painstakingly and meticulously fortified — and proceed to smash one another to pieces.

“Dudes are putting in time money and energy into fortifying their engines,” Garland said.

For the more genteel souls in attendance, the Slow Drags Competition may move at a better speed. Contestants have one chance to accelerate off of the starting line and then must coast the rest of the way to the finish.

Film and television buffs can visit the Movie Car Madness display to see reproductions of iconic vehicles from screens big and small, including the Batmobile, the General Lee and Sheriff Andy Taylor’s police car.

Garland said care was taken to ensure that the Bloomsburg Nationals was not just a car show, but also an event that could nimbly shift gears between live music, food and other family-friendly activities.

“We kind of look at it as something for everyone,” Garland said.

If there’s one thing that every growing event needs, it’s music. The show’s opening night will feature the Skyla Burrell Band playing the blues and Flamin’ Dick and the Hot Rods, a regional rock ’n’ roll band that specializes in music from the ‘50s and ‘60s, will play the Quaker Steak & Lube Stage at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday.

Both performances are free with admission to the event.

Finding things to do with the children may be as easy as giving the them something to find. The Kids’ Scavenger Hunt for ages 12 and under will send the miniature explorers and their parents across the grounds in search of five missing bracelets for the chance to win a prize.

Families can also stroll the Home Away From Chrome, a selection of games, toys and crafts.

“You don’t have to be a car geek to enjoy the show,” Garland said.