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cutlasguy

Das Awkscht Fescht Car Show at Macungie, Pa. 2015

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 I hopped in my 1917 Maxwell, after registering for free...

 

 

That's great, Mr. CVS!  I wish there were more car owners like you.

A person can see the "usual" antiques at any show, but seeing 

something different makes a car show more special.

 

I think that most of the cars of that overlooked 1916-1920's era--

cars that were shown 30, 40, 50 years ago--tend to sit in the garages

of their owners, now 80 years old themselves, and get out far less

frequently than they used to.  As the happy owner of a 1916 car,

I'd like to help break that trend!

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Do you suppose that in this day of reduced income and far greater expenses for travel , rooms, food etc. that GREED could be a factor? With the increased admission fee and registration fees, older people who have the machines we desire to see say , "why go there for an expensive time, when it used to be reasonable". I happen to be one of these, I no longer attend after the last few years of diminished vendors and increased expenses, it is no longer cost effective.  GREED plays a large part and if the organizers can't see this, it is only a matter of time before it is FINISHED. 

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But Mr. CVS pointed out that the early cars got in free!

That's a very generous gesture by the organizers.

 

But I agree to a point, Mr. RCR:  many non-automotive

organizations these days seem to be raising money off us

car hobbyists by charging us to bring them their entertainment!

I don't mind, though, when it's a car club, and the registration

cost is partially offset by trophies, dash plaques, goody bags,

or other give-aways.

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Mr. RCR;

I am not sure I understand where you see GREED here. The Ontelaunee Region organizes the activity and puts the labor into it. A portion of the car registration goes to the facility where it is held. For a 12.00 entry fee this year one of the participation awards was a duster that I have not seen sell for less than 10.00 anywhere. The admission fee for spectators is also decided by the facility. The Region has been looking at ways to bring back vendors and cars but most people have noticed that the amount of vendors is down at EVERY event these days. The on line availability of EVERYTHING has made much of that happen. WE surely don't have any control of travel and hotel expenses. I would personally be happy to forward any suggestions for improvemen that you may have to the Region. We want to bring the event to its former glory as much as you want to see it happen!!!

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What type of leverage does the club have with the town of Macungie?  What if you did not have the show there, what impact would that be to the town? They may be willing to bend a little in order to continue to receive the economic benefits that the show brings to their town.

What about the other associations that feed off of the the show, the American Legion and any other groups that benefit from the show economically. Approach them and see what can be worked out to keep the show going. 

At the current rate, the vendors count will continue its downward trend and the spectators will dwindle because of it and the lack of older cars showing up. So concentrate on what is the current draw to the show, the cars and the vendors.

 

Section off the craft portion of the event and charge an additional $2.00 to enter.

 

Start thinking differently about your event and look for new ways to do things.

 

Here are some suggestions for the automobile portion of the event:

For the first two days lower the entrance fee back to $6.00. On Saturday charge $9.00 or $10. Sunday?

 

Stop using one price fee structures. Charge the automotive vendors a daily fee.  Half price for the first two days and raise it for Saturday and Sunday (if Sunday has any benefit for them, if not lower it back).

 

Charge the non automotive vendors in the automotive flea market the current rate for all days.

 

Reasonably raise the consession fees for all days.

 

Offer free admission to any car older than 1940.

 

$25.00 admission for 1940 - 1969.

 

$30.00 admission for 1969 and above.

 

Contact manufacturers for donations or participation fees and see if there is any interest in dispalying their current cars and set up a specific areas for them  on the field. Compare the new with the old. See if they will present cash awards to car owners to acknowledge an old car from their heritage.

 

Have a random drawing for all car show participants and offer a 1st place, 2nd place, and 3rd place cash award to them for showing their car at your event.

Provide a voting jar for attendees to place a dollar in it  to vote for the one car of all the cars that  they like the best and split the proceeds with the owner that get the most votes and use the balance to help fund the three awards.

 

Put a pencil to the above and see if it works (I am not privy to your expenses) and modify it as needed. Think differently about what should be charged for and what not to charge for. Bring on some corporate sponsors with some marketing dollars to help promote. You are seldom mentioned in the various event listings when a search goes out on the internet or in the various hobby publications. You need lead time announcements so people can plan to attend.

I am sure that you can probably come up with many more ideas that you can use to bring this show back up as one of the events that you want to make sure that you attend each year.

 

Hope this gets the juices flowing.

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This is all a case of getting young people into the hobby. Ain't gonna happen. I'll still keep coming back as long as I can keep slinging milk crates full of parts that nobody wants into the back of my truck a nd bringing most of them back again. I applaud Dave and his Ontelaunee club for their efforts but nobody can deny that this show is dying. The management used to always insist they were sold out. They don't delude themselves any more. The quality vendors are replaced by big Advance Auto trailers and car care products that you can buy in any town in the corner store,bring it back if you're not satisfied. People who come long distances and leave empty handed will never come back. This reminds me of a new apartment complex that insists on only the best tenants. After a few vacancies they get less stringent on their requirements then they let anybody and everybody in and the few remaining good tenants have to leave.

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Dave, I agree that the show is spiraling down.  As a paramedic, I am always looking for ways to keep someone from dying, so the show is another patient!!   The flea market does not sell out any more, but then, we also have had over 3,000 cars over the 3 days so that , to me is a bigger problem!!!

Mr. CP Walter, the Region thanks you for your suggestions, and I will certainly will take them to our meeting for consideration.  One thing, just 3 posts above yours, the region was accused of greed.  many of your suggestions involve, at least, changes in price structure which will be viewed as price increases. As far as leverage with the town, it is a point worth asking, however, the event has been viewed as a Macungie event, I don't think it would survive a move.   BTW, the event is only 3 days not 4.  Many of the suggestions you have made are NOT controlled by the region, but rather by the location, and even though we take the heat for them, we have no control on the prices of a lot of the things.  And, quite frankly, I HATE those shows that do a "dollar a vote" popularity contests.   I could never be convinced that somehow this judges the best car.  I do, however agree, that if the show is to reverse its path, we need to think differently!!

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...nobody can deny that this show is dying. ...

 

Like Hershey, it's not quite as big as it used to be;

but 1100 to 1300 excellent antique cars on the

show field each day is a level that just about ANY

other club would love to achieve.  From my standpoint in

another AACA region, I'd say its health is pretty robust.

 

Ask car collectors in the central parts of the country,

and they would be thrilled to have even 200 cars of 

that quality at their local shows.

 

Sort of like the runner who can't do a 4.5-minute mile

any more, but his 6 minutes is better than 98% of the

population! 

Edited by John_S_in_Penna (see edit history)

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   You want to hear about another large show that is mucking around with the judging, try Slatington, Pa. To start with, they gave each entrant a small envelope, along with a sheet of tear off tickets. The envelope sticks on your windshield and you traverse the field, tearing off a ticket for each class and placing it in the envelope of your favorite car. This worked fine until entrants started exchanging tickets with others in their class in order to push their buddies to the top.

    Next came a real doozie! They began to choose First, Second and Third place by lottery. Problem was that they pulled the winners from the pre registered and registered list, and many hadn't even attended the events. They were left with many unclaimed trophys as a result. My buddy won Second Place and his car sat home in his garage! Scrap that plan big time!!

   Now this year they plan on awarding the best and second best of each car make. Fine, except they would have to arrange the classes by car make also and I can't see them doing that. They don't have the space that Macungie has, even though its at the airport. Should be fun!

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The biggest problem almost any local club faces with an event the size of the Fescht is finding enough people to do everything that needs to be done.   That was one of the reasons for the change in class set up there.  There was simply not enough people to set up the classes one way one day and a different way the other.   Set up of the field and flea market area takes a lot of time and people.  Parking of show vehicles, vendor relations, flea market, etc etc.  all take a lot of people and time.   I can see where Slatington has a lot of problems in the same way...finding enough people to judge!!!  I went through that with organizing a local show.  I finally ended up giving everyone 3 votes.   That way everyone could vote for their own car, 1 vote for a buddy and one vote for a truely good car!!!  It still ended up with vote trading.   What people go through for a trophy!!! 

John S, you are right, we do have a lot to be thankful for, but that still means we have a responsibility to keep it good and make it better!!! 

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I did not mean to open up a whole can of worms...

 

I am GRATEFUL for the free admission for a pre-1920 car, and it encourages me to come!  I think a car show is unique in that the main attraction is charged, if post 1920, to even show up.  Unlike a museum, where you are a guest, and the attraction is already there.  In an IDEAL world, the admission for all cars would be free, and the guests would pay enough in order for this to all happen.  Even with free pre 1920 admissions there were a fair number, but NOT a whole lot of pre-1920 cars.  Once again, I wish to stress how THANKFUL I am to receive this discount. 

 

Once again, though...looking at the BIG picture, you can blame the internet for ruining it all!  Young kids don't even want to drive, they are simply happy texting each other.  If they don't even want to drive a modern car, how will they ever become interested in an early car?  Then, when it comes to finding a part...and I am guilty of this as well, it is easier to google a part on the internet than to browse through rows of items and never finding it.  BUT, the attraction of the flea market, is not knowing WHAT you will find, and this is something the internet can NEVER replace!

 

It is so incredibly fun to fire up my 1917 Maxwell, and glide down the road, no computer, no internet, no cell phone.  Besides, if it was to ring, how ever could I hear it above the roar of my Maxwell?

Edited by mrcvs (see edit history)

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An interesting number of responses...  From my point of view, I've been attending car shows in the Northeast for around 35 years and have put many of my cars in the shows. Frankly, I'm tired of having to pay $15 to $20 to enter my car, only to have the people coming to see it pay less. If your limiting factor is the cost of the rental for your site, find another site. Simple, isn't it... Cruise-ins are real popular because the car shows are usually totally free. Why do so many organizers think a driver will pay anything to display his car?  If you could somehow reduce your expenses, you could then charge a more reasonable rate for both the spectators and the participants. It's simple economics.

 

Frank

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An interesting number of responses...  From my point of view, I've been attending car shows in the Northeast for around 35 years and have put many of my cars in the shows. Frankly, I'm tired of having to pay $15 to $20 to enter my car, only to have the people coming to see it pay less. If your limiting factor is the cost of the rental for your site, find another site. Simple, isn't it... Cruise-ins are real popular because the car shows are usually totally free. Why do so many organizers think a driver will pay anything to display his car?  If you could somehow reduce your expenses, you could then charge a more reasonable rate for both the spectators and the participants. It's simple economics.

 

Frank

I don't have an answer here that makes sense, economically, for the show's SPONSOR, but, YES, you hit the head on the head squarely!  If you bring your antique car to a show, why should you have to pay MORE than someone who is just a general patron?  You are part of the entertainment, you should get in for less (or for free), and the general public pays to get in.  BUT, of course, does this make enough so that the sponsor can even break even?

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The Macungie Truck show on Fathers Day weekend is not exhibiting some of the problems that Das Awkscht Fescht is experiencing. Yes, the flea market seems to be smaller but the number of trucks is astounding and, public admission is FREE.  It is one of the great shows of the Summer. Some may not like my previous greed statement but, I am listening to the scuttlebutt of the last few years and vendors and public are not satisfied. This is not an opinion, these are the statements of dissatisfaction. Follow the examples of successful events and lower your admission fee, this is not Carlisle. It used to be a must go to event of the Summer, but no more. 

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Let's talk about Sunday, long known as "Club Day".  I've been attending the Fescht regularly since 1980 when it truly was club day!  Not every marque was represented, but the show field was packed with show cars and spectators alike.  It was an honor if your club was represented and you could enter your car.  In those days, the club determined what vehicles were eligible.  For example, the Pontiac Oakland Club has always considered to the current year. The then new and late model "hot" Trans Ams were visible in the Pontiac area.

     The Chrysler area was represented by the WPC who also recognized vehicles to the current model year.  I was able to show my 1968 Satellite at only 12 years old.  The same could be said for the Mustang Club area, etc.  Also in those days, the Fescht committee alloted awards to the clubs based on attendance to be used as they wished.

     Many years ago, the Plymouth Owners Club (model years '28 - '54) and the Mustang Club unintentionally failed to meet the deadline to resign for the following year and were absent for many years.  It had been the Plymouth Club's Fall Meet.  Yes, those Plymouths continued to be accepted by the WPC, but it wasn't the same.  

     AT some point, the Fescht Committee determined the club day acceptance to be vehicles only to 25 years old and no modifieds permitted.  (as an aside, I am not a proponent of modified vehicles, so that was OK with me)  But effectively they told some clubs many of their member vehicles were not welcome.  A few clubs were given 2 years to conform.  Way to drive down club participation!  Lately it seems clubs in some cases are not even present, just a designated parker to continue some marques to be eligible.  The Edsel "club" area had dwindled, so they began hosting Lincoln Mercury as well, and the Edsel attendance continued to dwindle.

     A few years ago, the VCCA Chevrolet  area was handed over to the Lehigh Valley Camaro Club.  I have nothing against Camaros, but this really changed the landscape of the Chevy area.  Mostly Camaros now, and virtually no traditional VCCA cars.  At least I didn't see many VCCA window decals on Stovebolt Chevies.

    Maybe it's time to "invite" the clubs back to the Fescht, and let them determined who can be entered.

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The entry fee is a small price to pay for showing my car. The joy I get out of spectators admiring my vehicle and the questions they ask is worth far more than what it costs me to register. I'm sure I'm not alone, because many other participants actually thank me for taking pictures of their cars on the way in! Am I jealous of the amount spectators pay to get in? Not in the slightest! I've already taken far more home from the shows I've entered than just a trophy!

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Not speaking specifically about Macungie but the way car shows in general, and AACA shows in particular, are being financially managed is really starting to turn me off. It seems to me show organizers have decided that car owners are so starved for attention that they are seen as easy pickings. It's absurd that the talent (car owners) should be charged for providing entertainment for the audience, who in the case of AACA shows pay ZERO. The AACA compounds this upside down arrangement by coming up with schemes to further milk the car owners by charging ( gouging?) for what is a necessity for many owners, trailer parking. The oft cited reason is the expense of trophies. A far better solution for any fiscal problems would be to let the spectators pay for the trophies with a modest entrance fee.

In the last few years I have gravitated to concours type events doing two or three shows a year. The attitude towards the car owners is like night and day.

There is no entrance fee and a lite breakfast and very nice lunch is usually provided. The owners are truly appreciated and thanked for bringing their cars rather than being milked for bucks.

As an aside, the trophies are generally far nicer, the shows cover all expenses and have enough left over to make a very generous donation to a charity.

Surely other shows in general and AACA shows in particular could adopt some facets of this arrangement. .........Bob

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