This year’s 18th annual Pacific Car Show scheduled for late June is canceled due to crowd health concerns and a shortage of volunteers related to COVID-19.
However, organizers are attempting to salvage a portion of the event — the fireworks show.
The car show typically attracts 10,000 to 15,000 attendees to the historic streets within a six-block section of downtown Pacific each year. It is the largest event staged by Pacific Partnership members, and typically one of the biggest car shows in the region, attracting more than 600 entries and awarding prizes in 35-plus classes.
“We’re really disappointed that we can’t have the car show, but we just don’t have the right level of manpower to put it on this year,” said Pacific Partnership President Amanda Nemeth.
“We’ve worked so hard to make the show successful, it doesn’t make sense to try to do it without the really large number of volunteers it requires to do safely,” she said.
Nemeth said the car show day-of is at least a 12-hour event for volunteers, who get there at 5:30 a.m. to set up and who may be cleaning until 11 p.m. or midnight.
With many of the typical volunteers in the higher risk categories of the current coronavirus, there simply wasn’t enough volunteers to adequately handle the car show’s spectrum of activities, she added.
Pacific’s annual Fourth of July fireworks usually coincide with the same date of the car show and take place at approximately 9:30 p.m. to punctuate the full-day event. Fireworks are shot from the Blackburn Park bluff that overlooks downtown Pacific.
Pacific Mayor Steve Myers said city representatives are still working toward hosting fireworks this year.
Nemeth said instead of the car show, Pacific Partnership team members are considering hosting a concert and street party so attendees can still properly social distance while honoring the Fourth of July.
She hopes to confirm before the end of May if the block party replacement event is a go. The event likely would start at 5 p.m. or 6 p.m., leading up to the fireworks.
The Pacific Jaycees may host its annual cornhole board game tournament at the block party, and the evening would provide a minimal number of food and beverage vendors.
“We won’t be bringing out our kids’ items this year, though,” Nemeth said.