Port Alberni organizes its own last-minute car show amid road closure

Port Alberni organizes its own last-minute car show amid road closure

For many in Port Alberni, Father’s Day weekend usually means a day trip to Qualicum Beach for the Show and Shine car show.

With the closure of Highway 4, things are looking a little different this year — but that isn’t stopping the town from putting on its own.

This Saturday, residents are being invited down to the old Somass Mill site near Port Ice, by the Marine Dock, for a classic car show of their own.

The event, now known as the Road Closed Car Show, runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday June 17.

“We have a large contingent of car guys that would normally go to the Father’s Day showdown,” said Dean Williams, a resident of Port Alberni. “But given the road being closed, we can’t get there.”

The detour around the closure, which has already seen multiple accidents along the route, is a gruelling four hour drive.

“Those kinds of cars aren’t going to travel on the gravel logging road,” said Williams. “We’d like the car guys to come out and show off their cars and give something for the public to do on this Saturday, seeing how we’re all stuck in Port for another week or so.”

Participants are being asked to arrive at 8 a.m.

When the road first closed 10 days ago, it severed a vital connection for the almost 18 thousand residents that live there — leaving many without the ability to commute to their jobs, take their vacations and even get some essential supplies.

“We are struggling with our limitation to road access. But, you know, we’re a pretty resilient town. We’ve faced a lot of adversity through our lifetime here in Port, and we just seem to respond to the challenges. I think it’ll be good for the mindset of people in Port Alberni to have something to do this weekend and enjoy the nice weather,” Williams said.

He adds that he wouldn’t be surprised if there are at least 80 to 100 cars ready to “Rally in the Valley.”

“‘Rally the Valley’ was kind of a slogan our Alberni Valley Bulldogs used during their playoff run to the championship,” Williams tells CHEK News.

“It means that we always seem to come together as a community and help one another out when we’re faced with challenges.”

In addition to the event, there’ll be t-shirts made available by Williams’ company.

The Road Closed Car Show is free to the public, and with such a short turnaround in organizing it, Williams said there won’t be any need to register.
Roger CollinsRoger Collins

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