Bill Brewer didn’t like finishing second in last year’s Back to The Strip Car Show.
So he shifted his fundraising efforts into high gear to win this year’s event with a total of $3,200. Car show winners are determined solely on donations.
“I pretty much started as soon as last year’s show was over,” said Brewer on how he raised so much money. “First place feels a lot better than second.”
The top three car show finishers will be featured on the front of next year’s Back to the Strip T-shirt. The first-place car gets the most prominent spot so Brewer’s 1965 Ford Mustang will be front row, center.
As for cruising The Strip, Saturday night was a slow-moving success. Spectators plopped down in lawn chairs to crowd sidewalks and holler at their friends as they inched along at pedestrian speeds.
Traffic was bumper-to-bumper and motorists were fairly orderly with 40 tickets issued, half of last year’s total of 81.
Safety was emphasized and McMinnville Police Department was pleased to report no accidents, no DUI arrests, no public intoxication arrests, and no fights.
“That’s the kind of event we’re going for,” said Police Chief Bryan Denton.
Continued Denton, “We want it to be family friendly and we’re very pleased, from our side of it, with participation and behavior.”
There were 17 officers on patrol, including four on bicycles. Denton said the bicycles were handy to allow officers to maneuver in and out of stopped traffic.
Of the 40 citations, four were for burnouts. Denton said officers had zero tolerance for such behavior.
As for food and monetary donations, organizers say it was a banner year. The event raised over $36,000 with $11,000 coming straight from the car show. Also raised was over 5,000 pounds of canned food. Back to the Strip Night is a fundraiser for Meals on Wheels.
“That’s pure, 100 percent money that stays right here in town and goes to Meals on Wheels,” said Chris Terry, one of the organizers. “I couldn’t ask for a better community to do this in.”
Saturday’s event was the fifth annual Back to the Strip Night. For planning purposes, organizers have set the date each year as the first Saturday in May.