War Memorial's inaugural car show draws thousands to Danbury

by Katrina Koerting Danbury Newstimes (Wednesday, 9/4/19)

DANBURY -- Thousands of spectators and hundreds of vehicles filled Rogers Park for the inaugural War Memorial Car, Truck & Motorcycle Show last weekend, reminding many in attendance of the days of the Danbury Fair.

"At the height, it looked like the fairway at the fair because it was wall to wall cars and people," said Robert Botelho, the War Memorial's vice president.

Botelho said they are still figuring out the final amount raised, which will go to the War Memorialís restoration.

The event was so successful Botelho said it will become a staple fundraiser for the War Memorial, complementing the golf tournament and letter campaign.

It was originally supposed to happen in April, but bad weather postponed the original and first rain date to Labor Day weekend. Botelho said the new date was even better because more people were able to attend.

Botelho said they didnít have a target amount they had hoped to reach because it was the first year and didn't know what to expect, but were overwhelmed by the amount of support and turnout.

He said it attracted participants from all over the northeast, with 21 different categories of vehicles on display, including the Danbury Fire Department.

Botelho credits his car show partner, Lou Lombardo, for the large selection of vehicles because he owns Ultimate Restorations and he reached out to others in the classic car industry.

He cites Indian Motorcycle of Danbury and Lia Honda of Brewster for sponsoring the event, which allowed them to put more of the money collected toward the War Memorialís restoration. It cost $20 to show a vehicle and spectators could enter for free.

The War Memorial's Board of Directors' plan to install bleachers in the gymnasium, renovate some unused space to become a workout area and add a room for fitness classes which can be rented out for events and parties. The members are deciding which of these projects to tackle first, based on what will best serve the community.

The War Memorial was built in 1951 to honor the men and women who fought in World Wars I and II. It was paid for with coins Danbury High School students collected, earned and donated each morning. It's mission is emblazoned on the side of the building with the words "To honor the dead, to serve the living."

"It's the fabric of Danbury," Botelho said. "It's been so important to all of our histories."

He said it's a great resource for teenagers living downtown because it gives them a safe place to go and they can play basketball.

Botelho said it was a community event, with the mayor and other town employees helping, as well as members of the National Guard, Danbury Police Department and police Explorers.

"Everyone had a great time," Botelho said. "It was a day for Danburians to get together and forget about the negative news in our lives."

Click here to download event poster.

2020 Upcoming Ceremonies & Events

Maine Day Ceremony, Saturday, February 15th at 10:00 am at the Monument on the corner of West St. & Division St.

Vietnam Memorial Service, Sunday, March 29th at 10:00 am at the Vietnam Monument in Rogers Park.

Memorial Day Parade, Monday, May 25th starting at St. Joseph's Church at 6:30 am. Wreath-laying following Church service. The parade steps off promptly at 9:30 am.

Korean Memorial Ceremony, Monday, July 27th at 10:00 am at the Korean Monument in Rogers Park.

World War II Ceremony, Saturday, August 15th at 10:00 am in the Rose Garden at Rogers Park.

Vietnam Moving Wall Ceremony, Thursday, September 24th at 10:00 am in front of the War Memorial Building.

Veteran's Day Ceremony, Wednesday, November 11th at 11:00 am in front of the War Memorial Building.

Pearl Harbor Day Ceremony, Monday, December 7th at 10:00 am inside War Memorial Building.

Information

Contact Info

Danbury War Memorial
1 Memorial Dr
Danbury, CT 06810
Phone: (203) 743-3932
Email: Justin Calitro (Director)
jcalitro@war-memorial.org
Information:
info@war-memorial.org
or use our Contact Us form.

Directions

From New York
Interstate 84 - Exit 5
Straight through stop sign to traffic light
At light take right onto Main Street
Follow to end
Last light on Main Street straight into Rogers Park
War Memorial is the first building on left

From Hartford/New Haven
Interstate 84 - Exit 5
Take right at light onto Main Street
Follow to end
Last light on Main Street straight into Rogers Park
War Memorial is the first building on left

The Danbury War Memorial was built in 1951 and was designed and built in honor of the men and women who fought in World War I and II.  Just after World War II ended, every morning, students at Danbury High School put their pennies and nickels in a pot to fund a memorial to honor those who so recently served their country.