Archive for Thursday, April 3, 2008

Single lot no longer enough for car show

April 3, 2008

The 20th Street Car Show, which formerly was known as Durkin's Car Show, will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.

The name change is an indication of growth, as Durkin's Hardware owner John Durkin has seen it outgrow the parking lot in front of his store, located at 218 E. 20th St.

Durkin started the show in 2006 in an effort to draw attention to his new store.

"I just like old cars and thought it would be a good way to get traffic in here when we first opened because we're on the other side of the highway," Durkin said. "We'd advertised but advertising doesn't always do it, so you have to figure out other ways."

But what began as way to enjoy classic cars and get the word out about his business has turned into something much bigger than he anticipated.

"In the first year, we had probably about 10-15 cars, which is pretty good for a first time," he said. "Last year, we were overflowing; we didn't have enough room in the lot. We had to turn cars away because we had about 45 cars in our lot here and that fills it up."

This year, the show will take place in three separate lots adjacent to each other on 20th Street, starting at the Eudora Township Fire Department and moving west to Durkin's and then the lot in front of Wolff Diagnostic and automotive repair.

The show will include several vendors from Eudora, Lawrence and De Soto. It also will feature a few demonstrations done by Wolff's.

Durkin also has seen a jump in staffing needs for the show.

"That day, you don't do much business because you're so busy doing other things," he said. "And it got so big last year that now we've got to have people volunteer to come in and help us.

Durkin, who grew up in Eudora, left for 35 years and then returned, enjoys being able to have an event that brings people to the city from out of the area.

"The thing that's kind of neat is that we have people from out of town that have heard about it and have told us how they wanted to come," Durkin said. "People who have brought cars here have told us how much they enjoy it because it's not a competition or anything like that. It's just a show and shine."

Though part of the reason Durkin started the show was because he likes cars, he has yet to truly take time to enjoy himself during the event.

"I got out maybe five or 10 minutes last year," he said. "Probably when we're setting up I see a lot of the cars, but that's about it. Hopefully, having the volunteers and not having to worry about the food will take care of that."

Cars entered in the show don't need to be old, just customized.

"We don't want someone to bring the ordinary Camry or something like that, but if some kid has lowered it and put wheels on it, that's just fine."

More than anything, Durkin hopes mother nature does her part.

"If the weather is nice, I wouldn't doubt 60 cars at least," he said. "Everything depends on the weather. It doesn't matter if it's cool, just so long as it doesn't rain."

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