Weekend show to mark the first major event at new park|
|Antigo is unveiling its new Peaceful Valley festival grounds this weekend as it hosts the 28th annual Badgerland Classics and Customs car show.|
The event, expected to draw over 450 cars and assorted vehicles and upwards of 2,000 spectators, will run Sunday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. There is no admission charge for spectators.
The size of the event brings a mixture of opportunities and headaches, forcing the closure for the day of portions of Field Street and Sixth Avenue but bring a massive influx of people into the city’s core.
“We’d like to draw people back into the downtown area,” Mayor Bill Brandt said. “Events such as this are exactly why we put the investment into that area to make it more welcoming.”
The Peaceful Valley area was hit hard by flooding in March, 2004. Since then, the city has been slowly making improvements, funded partly through grants and allocation of tax incremental finance district dollars.
Improvements began with the development of the community-built playground and continued with the construction of the warming house and development of green space between Sixth and Seventh avenues and, most recently, the reconstruction of Field Street and Sixth Avenue, elimination of blight and the redevelopment of a gravel area that once served as a railroad beltline into a blacktopped parking area.
Along with the festival grounds the city also created walking paths to connect the area to Lake Park and the boardwalk to the north. Festival-goers will receive maps of those trails.
“Everybody is very excited to come down here,” Jeff Ralph, an organizer of the event, said. “It’s going to bring a lot of people into the downtown area.”
The show will include categories for modified autos and trucks, dating from 1900 to the present, along with motorcycles. First, second and third place trophies will be awarded in all classes, with special trophies for best GM, Ford, Mopar and Orphan stock end modified vehicle and the coveted best of show.
There will also be a swap meet, craft fair, bake sale and plenty of food and refreshments. Bring in a non-perishable food item to be eligible for a special drawing.
Brandt said the show may serve as a template for future activities.
“We’re working to make it a more inviting place and encouraging people to get re-acquainted with the downtown and what it has to offer,” Brandt said. “We hope other people and groups are looking and seeing what a great place this is to have an event.”
From left, Director of Administrative Services Mark Desotell, Dave Devore and Jeff Ralph at the new Peaceful Valley Festival sign, advertising Sunday's show.
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