Firefighters’ Association moves car show to high school

In 2013, the Tisbury Fire Fighters Association car show attracted crowds of car buffs. — File photo by Ralph Stewart

The annual Tisbury Firefighters’ Association Car Show, which was scheduled to take place on Main Street in Vineyard Haven on Sunday, Sept. 6, from 1 to 4 pm, will move to the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School parking lot.

The change was made after Main Street merchants voiced opposition to the car show shutting down Main Street in the afternoon on Labor Day weekend, and selectmen voted to push back the time of the event.

Firefighter association representative Ken Maciel said the change in location allows them to keep their preferred 1 to 4 pm time block, and it’s a bigger space for the growing numbers of cars involved.

“We were really afraid that even with taking all of Main Street, we were going to run out of room, and I didn’t want to turn any cars away,” he said. “So this kind of takes that problem away from us.”

Last year 88 cars were shown. This year Mr. Maciel estimates there will be more than 100, all from the Island.

He expects that next year will be an even grander occasion, so the association intends to use this year as a trial run.

“Next year is our 10th anniversary, and we want to do something really big for it,” he said. “So by moving this year, it will give us a better understanding of what we can actually do up there for next year.”

Letters were sent to Main Street merchants Tuesday to inform them of the change in location. It thanked the business community for their support, and detailed reasons for the move, including a “more comprehensive display area for the vehicles” and “more controlled entry/egress flow for the spectators.”

“We realize that this decision will disappoint some and at the same time provide a relief for others,” John Schilling, Tisbury fire chief, said. “For us, we see this as an opportunity to grow and expand this event, and we are very excited about all of the possibilities this new location offers.”

Wednesday, Mr. Maciel said there were no complications with moving the event, which raises money for a firemen’s relief fund.

“It’s been amazingly easy, matter of fact,” he said.