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Getting to Know ... The Canal Days Car Show Chair PDF Print E-mail
Monday, August 12, 2013 12:06 AM


Staff Writer

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DELPHOS — While cruising the streets during Canal Days looking for pizazz and folks talking “chop, channel and sectioning,” check out the Canal Days Cruise-In hosted by the Black Swamp Mustang Club from 5-9 p.m. that Saturday at the corner of Second and Canal streets.

Brian Fetzer, chair for the event, said he was contacted by Event Coordinator Diane Sterling in 2012, who asked him if the Black Swamp Mustangs might be interested in taking it [the car show] over. In previous years, the Delphos Car Club had hosted the Canal Days car show and were no longer able to do it. They suggested Sterling contact me.

“We already had a full plate as far as hosting car shows but I agreed to do it because I couldn’t imagine Canal Days without a car show,” Fetzer explained. “I knew I could do it and make it a good one, so we went for it.”

Over the years, Fetzer has been involved in Canal Days in other ways. He volunteered time in the food tent, entered some things in the art show and drive cars in the parade but last year was his first being fully invested in Canal Days as an event chairman.

When it comes to planning the event, Fetzer takes care of everything, including all the little details of the show.

“I rely on the Black Swamp Mustangs’ club members on the day of the show for set up, tear down and actually running the show,” Fetzer detailed. “There are usually five of us that can host the show.”

This year the club has enlisted the help of the Jefferson Senior High School Choir.

“My daughter Alyssa is part of the choir and they were looking for a fundraising idea so I offered them the chance to get involved,” he said with excitement.

Fetzer is anticipating an even better turn out this year than in 2012.

“Last year’s show turned out way better than we expected,” he said proudly. “Our first year hosting the show saw 74 cars in attendance, which I believe is just a little less than double the attendance from the previous year.”

The heightened attendance has made Fetzer more ambitious this year. He said he would like to continue nurturing the show and see just where it will go. The club retained the same location set aside for the car show from previous years and with the increased number of vehicles, he is making plans to expand the show area.

“I would really like to see this show grow to the size of the Pioneer Days car show held in Kalida,” he explained. “The Canal Days Committee is fully behind our continued growth and have pledged to do whatever is necessary to see it continue to grow.”

Fetzer said the club has added new awards for Trucks, Motorcycles, and brand new this year … Golf Carts!

“Golf carts are becoming really popular and there are some really wicked looking carts out there,” Fetzer spoke with enthusiasm. “We thought it would be awesome to give those who invest time and money into making cool looking golf carts a chance to show off their efforts as well.”

At this time, he does not know how many or who will enter the show.

“Last year, I would have been happy if we had only 40 cars, so getting 74 was just a thrill,” he said. “This year, I’d like to see us getting close to 100 entries.”

This year’s show will see a Top 25 for cars, Top 5 for Trucks, Top 5 for Motorcycles, and a Top 3 for Golf Carts. If there is a better turn out this year, Fetzer said they will look at expanding the number of awards which depends on participation. Fetzer said last year there was a good turn out on trucks and motorcycles, so they decided to give them their own awards this year and have them compete with similar vehicles.

“It’s not really fair to compare a motorcycle or truck to a classic/antique car,” he reasoned. “They are different animals.” Judges are a random group of volunteers that he asked to judge.

“Exactly who is judging is a secret but if you watch closely at the show, you can probably pick them out,” he said.

Fetzer said he gets a huge sense of accomplishment and satisfaction from doing the car show.

“There is so much to do during Canal Days and being able to bring people into Delphos who might not otherwise come makes me feel like I’m doing my part in promoting Canal Days and Delphos in general,” Fetzer beamed with delight.

Fetzer says he thinks the car show is best part of Canal Days.

“I also love the parade, he said. “We’re going to invite the car show winners to drive in the parade this year.”


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