2019 Butterfest Car Show promises to be bigger, better
The Sparta Butterfest Car show will be drawing car enthusiasts to the fest grounds for another year.
The car show runs noon-4 p.m. Saturday, June 8 on the grass just east of the beer tent along Osborne Drive.
Organizer Aaron Arnold said he's hoping to surpass the number of entries last year, which was the reappearance of the car show after a four-year absence from the festival. There were 43 cars in that event and he said he'd be happy to break the 50-entry mark this year.
But like last year, he won't know the actual number until the day of the show. "There's no pre-registration so it's a surprise," he said.
Not only is there no pre-registration, there are no hard and fast rules. Anyone can enter their favorite vehicle for a $5 fee and vie for one of six trophies.
There are six "choice" trophies for the top cars and the winners of all but two will be chosen by Butterfest Royalty. There will be the Festmaster's Choice, Lady Butterfest's Choice, Miss Sparta's Choice and Miss Sparta Outstanding Teen's Choice.
New this year is the Killin' It Garage Trophy. Killin' It Garage is a small hotrod hobby shop run by three mechanics in Sparta who will pick their favorite car, which won't necessarily be a hotrod, according to Arnold.
The final trophy is the People's Choice, which is picked by spectators who can cast a vote for their favorite vehicle. Each trophy is accompanied by a gift basket supplied by local service stations, while three other gift baskets will be given away in a free drawing open to anyone who comes to look at the cars.
The baskets will be provided by several area businesses, including Evans Print & Media, which is the main sponsor of the show, Kenworthy Truck & Auto, Randall's Tire & Alignment, West Central Auto, Advance Auto Parts, O'Reilly Auto Parts, Gr8Buy Auto, Brenengen Ford, Mr. Tire and JB Auto Repair.
With the entry fee, participants will receive a Butterfest button and a commemorative decal. Arnold also will be selling commemorative car show T-shirts.
Arnold is making no promises but he is expecting Bob Betthauser of Tomah to bring his 1917 Ford Model-T to the event. The WW1-era antique vehicle was at last year's event and proved to be one of the most popular cars on exhibit.
Arnold said most of the entries were local last year but he did have one person come all the way from Iowa to show his car after he'd seen the car show advertised on the Butterfest Facebook page.
Like last year, the car show organizers will be accepting food donations in conjunction with the Kiwanis Food Drive. People can either donate the food at the Saturday event or wait until the parade when both the Kiwanis Club and the car show, which has its own unit in the parade (54 in the lineup), will be collecting non-perishable items for local food pantries.
The car show is held directly east of the fest tent and there will be a special gate from the tent so people don't have to walk all the way around to view the cars.
"It's free," he said. "You don't even have to have a Butterfest button to look at the cars."
Butterfest kicks off Thursday, and runs through Sunday.