ARLINGTON — As the 17th annual Show ‘N’ Shine car show comes to downtown Arlington June 11, the Arlington Fire Department and the Downtown Arlington Business Association expressed confidence that their street closure maintains public safety while allowing the event to accommodate more attendees.
DABA President Mike Britt praised Fire Chief Tom Cooper, with whom he’d worked on the previous two years of car shows, for pointing out the problems with his initial street plans.
“I didn’t realize that adding all these parking spaces for the show would create so many safety concerns,” Britt said.
Britt and Cooper’s lack of consensus of Britt’s first set of street plans inspired the Arlington City Council to send them back to the drawing board April 11, but they reach an agreement by the next council meeting.
Not only has the event’s parking expanded to include the parking lot between City Hall and Legion Park, it’s also incorporated the Arlington Masonic Lodge’s lot.
As always, North Olympic Avenue will be shut down, but the cross-streets of Third, Fourth and Fifth streets will serve as overflow parking.
Britt is optimistic that the car show should be able to take in the roughly 80-100 vehicles that last year’s event was forced to turn away.
“There’s only so much space available in our downtown,” Britt said. “We’re about to reach the point where we’ll have to say, this is it.”
Although Britt had proposed shutting down traffic on the cross-streets for the duration of the car show, out of his own concerns for pedestrian safety, Cooper asserted this would cause more problems than it solved, so DABA will recruit volunteers to direct foot traffic at the intersections.
The car show’s registration opens at 6 a.m., and the event officially kicks off at 8 a.m. The Lifeway Foursquare Church will again present free movies at the Olympic Theatre at noon and 2:30 p.m.
“Kids will be able to fill plastic fire helmets with popcorn,” Britt said.
While the 3 p.m. presentation of trophies in the 300 block of Olympic Avenue has traditionally marked the end of the festivities, this year includes two new features. A BMX demonstration is set for 10 a.m. at Legion Park, while the Country Corner store in Bryant will host the first-ever after-hours party and memorial run at 4:20 p.m.
Britt said DABA is doing great.
“We’re down to only one vacancy on Olympic,” Britt said. “This is an opportunity for us to shine as never before. This shows what happens when businesses work together and care about each other. You can do anything if you have enough passion.”