War Memorial's inaugural car show draws thousands to Danbury
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."
to download event poster.