Kenosha Homecoming Car Show to return July 26-31 | News | kenoshanews.com – Kenosha News
It took five years, but the Kenosha Homecoming Car Show returns July 26-31.
The car show is a signature event hosted by the Kenosha County Historical Society in the Kenosha area and is a highly-anticipated experience for collectors of American Motor Corporation (AMC) and other made-in-Kenosha vehicles. And their fans.
The car show is typically held every three years, but got pushed from 2020 to 2022 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Kenosha County Historical Society Executive Director Chris Allen said.
“So now, after five years, we’re really chomping at the bit to have this wonderful car show back in Kenosha,” Allen said.
Allen said he is expects a high turnout this year. As of last week car parts vendors and car collectors from 28 states and Canada are expected.
As for visitors, Allen said he has talked to people coming from Australia and across Europe to celebrate American Motors and Kenosha’s car history.
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“I think because it’s been so long since we’ve had the show, car collectors around the country and around the world put us on the calendar, and they’re going to make sure that they get to Kenosha this year,” Allen said.
‘It’s gonna be a great one’
Joe Bohaczek, an organizer with the car show and an owner of multiple AMC cars himself, said he can’t wait for the car show to return this year.
“It’s gonna be a great one,” Bohaczek said. “We really went above and beyond this year with the group of guys that we having putting it on.”
Bohaczek, who has been involved in organizing the car show since the 1990s, said this year they are focusing a lot on supporting local businesses. In past years, he said, they would host cruise-ins and other events at chains such as Wendy’s or McDonald’s, but this year they are featuring local businesses such as Ruffolo’s Special Pizza, Mars Cheese Castle and Don’s Machine Shop.
“Over the last few years, if it taught us anything, it’s that we need to support local businesses more than anything else,” Bohaczek said.
Mike Spangler, also a Homecoming Car Show organizer for many years, said the car show will be similar to past shows. Spangler has attended the car show since 1979 and said it is an important piece of Kenosha’s history.
“While the factory’s not [in Kenosha anymore], it’s still got the sense of history,” Spangler said. “We have a sense of belonging that no other car club has anywhere else in the country.”
Allen said many still think of Kenosha as an automobile town, and the car show pays homage to the magnitude of Kenosha’s automobile history. This history is “multigenerational,” and the Kenosha Homecoming Car Show is somewhat of a family reunion, as well, Allen said.
The city’s car history dates to 1902 when the Jeffery Company started manufacturing cars in Kenosha. It continued until around 2010, according to Allen.
“Jeffery continued to make cars here until 1917 when Charlie Nash bought the company. Nash was here and merged with Hudson Motor Car Company in 1954, and that’s what created American Motors Corporation, AMC,” Allen said.
There were close to 1,000 cars on display and over 230 vendors in 2017, when the show was last held. The Kenosha Homecoming Car Show is the largest AMC show in the …….