Community and cars shine at 10th Fort City Car Show

Fort City Church’s 10th Father’s Day car show celebrates the “imagination and ingenuity” of gearheads.

Article content

Brian Friesen did not know what to expect when Fort City Church held their first Father’s Day car show in 2012. More than a decade later and the church parking lot was packed with people standing between rows of chrome and rubber as the show’s Best 1950-59 Domestic Car award was named after Friesen.

Advertisement 2

Article content

“I was humbled. I was shocked… I was not expecting that at all. I was very taken aback by that,” he said.

This is the 10th Fort City Car Show hosted by the Thickwood church. Pastor Doug Doyle said the show was cancelled after the 2016 Horse River Wildfire and during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. Friesen moved to Calgary after organizing his final show in 2014, but was invited to celebrate the 10th event.

The show’s genesis begins in 2011 when Friesen and other volunteers organizers felt there were few community events for men and families. They were inspired by a similar car show held annually at a Calgary church.

Friesen did not know what to expect that first year, but his goal was to make it “the biggest car show in Fort McMurray.” This year he was happy to notice more strollers than cars.

Advertisement 3

Article content

“That’s always what the goal was, to give an opportunity for people to come out,” he said. “You can come out and talk and see what’s out there in the marketplace, and see what ideas people spend their money and passion on the iron that’s up in Fort McMurray.”

This year he was amazed at the diversity of old and new cars and trucks that people lovingly maintain. He was impressed by a 1930 Model A and was stunned when one spectator commented it’s nearly 100 years old.

“I’m a typical man in that I like mechanical things and I like cars. I don’t own a show car but I like seeing what people have done, what people are playing with, and what people are spending their time and effort and money on,” said Friesen. “It’s amazing to see the imagination and ingenuity that goes into that.”

Advertisement 4

Article content

Doyle said the car show grows every year. Most people who attend the event do not attend Fort City Church. It intentionally focuses on being a day for all members of the community instead of a religious event, although Doyle estimates the car show has inspired about 10 per cent of the congregation to attend the church.

“It just creates goodwill in the city and all over the place. We’ve become probably the largest and most well attended car show in the city,” he said. “It was a way to say that we’re part of the community. We value Fort McMurray. We value the ethos of Fort McMurray.”

Friesen said he is happy with the growth of the event. He hopes the car show can attract people from outside Fort McMurray to visit or show off their own vehicles.

***

People at the Fort City Car Show at Fort City Church on June 16, 2024. Vincent McDermott/Fort McMurray Today/Postmedia Network
People at the Fort City Car Show at Fort City Church on June 16, 2024. Vincent McDermott/Fort McMurray Today/Postmedia Network
A 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air at the Fort City Car Show at Fort City Church on June 16, 2024. Vincent McDermott/Fort McMurray Today/Postmedia Network
A 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air at the Fort City Car Show at Fort City Church on June 16, 2024. Vincent McDermott/Fort McMurray Today/Postmedia Network
People at the Fort City Car Show at Fort City Church on June 16, 2024. Vincent McDermott/Fort McMurray Today/Postmedia Network
People at the Fort City Car Show at Fort City Church on June 16, 2024. Vincent McDermott/Fort McMurray Today/Postmedia Network
People at the Fort City Car Show at Fort City Church on June 16, 2024. Vincent McDermott/Fort McMurray Today/Postmedia Network
People at the Fort City Car Show at Fort City Church on June 16, 2024. Vincent McDermott/Fort McMurray Today/Postmedia Network
A child cheers as a truck accelerates on the dynamometer at the Fort City Car Show at Fort City Church on June 16, 2024. Vincent McDermott/Fort McMurray Today/Postmedia Network
A child cheers as a truck accelerates on the dynamometer at the Fort City Car Show at Fort City Church on June 16, 2024. Vincent McDermott/Fort McMurray Today/Postmedia Network
A 1951 Chevy truck at the Fort City Car Show at Fort City Church on June 16, 2024. Vincent McDermott/Fort McMurray Today/Postmedia Network
A 1951 Chevy truck at the Fort City Car Show at Fort City Church on June 16, 2024. Vincent McDermott/Fort McMurray Today/Postmedia Network
People at the Fort City Car Show at Fort City Church on June 16, 2024. Vincent McDermott/Fort McMurray Today/Postmedia Network
People at the Fort City Car Show at Fort City Church on June 16, 2024. Vincent McDermott/Fort McMurray Today/Postmedia Network
People at the Fort City Car Show at Fort City Church on June 16, 2024. Vincent McDermott/Fort McMurray Today/Postmedia Network
People at the Fort City Car Show at Fort City Church on June 16, 2024. Vincent McDermott/Fort McMurray Today/Postmedia Network
#KILL at the Fort City Car Show at Fort City Church on June 16, 2024. Vincent McDermott/Fort McMurray Today/Postmedia Network
#KILL at the Fort City Car Show at Fort City Church on June 16, 2024. Vincent McDermott/Fort McMurray Today/Postmedia Network
car show
Teenagers check out a 1978 Ford Mustang Black Cobra at the Fort City Car Show at Fort City Church on June 16, 2024. Vincent McDermott/Fort McMurray Today/Postmedia Network

Get the news and events of Fort McMurray Wood Buffalo in your inbox every Friday morning by signing up for our newsletter.

[email protected]

Article content