Middletown auto show returns to Main Street

Middletown will deck Main Street with tricked-out trucks and classic cars at its 5th annual Car & Truck Show on Sunday.

Vehicle registration will begin at 10 a.m. and last until noon. Mayor Charles Harbaugh will hand out plaques for the top 20 most popular vehicles and a plaque for his own hand-picked favorite at 3 p.m. to end the show.

Harbaugh said he’s expecting around 150 vehicles in this year’s show, more than the 100 that showed on a rain date last year. Participants will vote for their favorite vehicle and 15 pre-1980 winners will be chosen with five post-1980 models. Cars and trucks from any year are welcome at the show – attendees can see jacked-up trucks alongside old Model Ts.

The registration fee to enter a car or truck is $10, but general admission to see the show is free. Attendees can browse through the vehicles while enjoying concessions from local vendors and oldies music played by disc jockey Freddie Cheshire.

The show started five years ago as a way of raising money for the town’s  July Fourth celebration. Malloy Ford has sponsored the event since it began, and proceeds continue to fund the Independence Day parade and events.

Local businesses get a boost from the show, too – the fire department made more than $800 from selling food at last year’s show.

Harbaugh switched the site of the show to Main Street last year, knowing that many car owners prefer not to park on grass and noticing that the show was stagnating in attendance. He also noticed many locals checking out the show after seeing that the road was blocked off.

“Main Street shows are very rare but when you do have them … it generates a lot of attention,” he said.

Locals may just end up stumbling across the event, but motorists from all around stop in to show their antiques and custom cars. Harbaugh said many enthusiasts stop by to visit Middletown from Leesburg and Warrenton, and participants have plenty of tales to tell.

“I like to hear people’s personal stories,” he said. “There’s a lot of cool stories that you hear from these folks.”

In the case of rain, the show will take place the following week on Aug. 30.

Contact staff writer Rachel Mahoney at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or rmahoney@nvdaily.com