Car Show Will Benefit Danbury War Memorial

by Kendra Baker Danbury Newstimes (Thursday, 4/18/19)

DANBURY -- Rogers Park will turn into a car enthusiast's dream on April 28th (rescheduled until September 1st), when it's filled with all types, makes and models of vehicles for the inaugural War Memorial Car, Truck & Motorcycle Show.

All park activities have been canceled to make way for the hundreds of vehicles expected to roll through the park that day.

"We're looking forward to a large turnout and praying for a nice day," said Bob Botelho, vice president of the War Memorial's board of directors and one of the car show organizers.

"We're expecting 300 to 400 cars, but if someone has a $100,000 car and it looks like it's going to drizzle, they may not show up."

The event will kick off with a ceremony at noon, featuring an honor guard, flag-raising, words from Mayor Mark Boughton and a ribbon-cutting.

Judging of cars, trucks and motorcycles will begin at 1 p.m., and trophies will be awarded at 3 p.m. There will also be raffles, five food trucks and three live DJs.

From low-end to high-end, all kinds of vehicles will be featured in the show.

"Every kind of car will be accepted," said Lew Lombardo, Ultimate Restoration Auto Center owner and car show organizer.

"We've had people call who have cars that are unfinished and under construction, and then we have cars that are all done," he said. "We're allowing any year, make or model."

There will be 27 judging categories or "classes," said Lombardo, with trophies awarded to the top three in each category.

Five judges from Danbury and nearby towns, with car show experience, Lombardo said, will judge categories like best car, best interior, best engine and best built.

People looking to enter their vehicles into the show will come down Lions Way from Coalpit Hill Road.

"There will be three lanes with staff members registering the vehicles as they come in," Botelho said.

Spectator parking will be available along Main Street, at the train station, in the Dollar Store parking lot near the ice arena, and at the Terrence E. McNally Patriot Garage for $2 that day.

Parking will be available at City Hall, and buses shuttling people from Main Street and City Hall to Rogers Park from 11 to 5, Botelho said.

Planning and organizing of the show has been underway since September, Lombardo said.

"Every one of us has a certain job," he said. "We're trying to get cars to the show and police ready to help guide the cars in -- we've got it all covered."

Lombardo said he was more than happy to help out with the car show.

"I took it to heart because veterans come into my business all the time and I consider them friends. I'd like to give back to them, and I think this is going to make them smile," he said.

Organizing the event has been "a large endeavor, but worth it," Botelho said.

"A lot of time and a lot of effort has gone into this, and it's going to be great day for Danbury and the War Memorial," he said. "We're hoping it will be historic."

Botelho said the mayor, his staff and Parks and Recreation director Nick Kaplanis have been very helpful in the planning and organizing process, and he appreciates all the leagues that canceled their usual activities so the car show could take place.

Cost is $20 per vehicle to support the Danbury War Memorial -- a nonprofit recreational and educational facility serving the Danbury area since 1951.

Botelho said the money will go toward renovation work inside the War Memorial.

"We're slated to finish off the gymnasium with the bleachers. Right now, there are only bleachers in half the gym," Botelho said. "We also want to redo an area in the lower section and offer aerobics and other classes there."

Botelho said there will be a "grand reopening" of the War Memorial the day of the car show, with staff members giving tours of the facility.

"If you're looking for something new and exciting to do, this is it. It'll be a great day to come down with the family and see all these different cars, trucks and motorcycles," Botelho said.

"It's going to be interesting and we encourage everyone to be part of this. It's going to be an exciting day with lots to see."

Click here to download event poster.

2019 Upcoming Ceremonies & Events

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

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

Veterans Walkway of Honor, Monday, April 22nd, final brick order cutoff date.  No other brick orders will be taken after this date!

Memorial Day Parade, Monday, May 27th 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, Saturday, July 27th at 10:00 am at the Korean Monument in Rogers Park.

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

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

Veterans' Day Ceremony, Monday, November 11th at 11:00 am in front of the War Memorial Building.

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


Contact Info

Danbury War Memorial
1 Memorial Dr
Danbury, CT 06810
Phone: (203) 743-3932
Email: Justin Calitro (Director)
or use our Contact Us form.


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.