WARSAW — It was a win, win situation for all involved in Friday evening’s First Friday event downtown Warsaw. Not only were there vehicles of all makes and models, but just a few blocks away was the Warsaw Parks & Recreation Department’s Family Fun Carnival.
Free shuttles were provided by a local cab company between the two events. Many were seen visiting the downtown car show before ending their evening at the Family Fun Festival.
Uptown cars, trucks, motorcycles, vendors filled the streets and sidewalks on Center and Buffalo streets and the courthouse lawn. Even the municipal parking lot was filled to capacity with a few show cars, food vendors and places to sit down and eat.
Hundreds of people mingled around the four-block downtown area. During the height of the evening it took over 45 minutes to walk one block.
At Central Park moonwalks of all shapes, sizes and experiences were available, along with various games, face painting, character sketches, balloon art, and of course the 35th annual Big Wheel Championship. The park area was just as packed as the downtown.
Punch cards and individual tickets were sold to participate in games and activities. The event is a fundraiser for the parks and recreation department.
This was the first time Baker’s Youth Club and Cruisin’ Hoosiers Car Club held it’s annual fund raising car show at a First Friday Event. It won’t be the last.
The 2016 show has already been scheduled for the first Friday evening in August as part of the First Friday events.
“We ran out of space,” stated Paula Bowman, First Friday coordinator. “We were not anticipating this many cars. It is possible next year’s event will be expanded another block.
Tracy Furnivall, executive director for Baker’s Youth Club, confirmed the show will be a part of First Friday in 2016, the state’s bicentennial. In conjunction with that celebration visitors will see the cars lined up according to year.
Over 145 cars, trucks and motorcycles were registered with over 60 King Midget cars coming in close to 6 p.m. parking four abreast between Buffalo and Lake streets.
The National King Midget show was held in Warsaw this year and made a part of First Friday. Owners from all over the country, mostly the Midwest brought their vehicles — which some were heard saying looked like mini jeeps. The vehicles were made in Athens, Ohio from 1946 to 1969. Over 5,000 vehicles were manufactured and only 1,400 are known to still be around.
One of the midgets was a type 4 midget, made to look like a dune buggy. Only four were made as the mold burned and the one at the show is the only one known to still be running.
The midgets are a single-cylinder motor, running 35 miles per hour. They way approximately 800 pounds and are 2 inches winder and 6 inches shorter than a Crossly. Most of these vehicles are trailered to shows.
But if you were not interested in the midgets, there were plenty of other vehicles to see: Mustangs, Corvettes, Cameros, Jaguars, Porches, Chevelles, Novas, street rods, hot rods, trucks, a Shelby, Prowler, Packard, and Model As.
Music in the downtown square was provided by the Sock Monkeys and a silent auction was held with many going home with a variety of goodies as the highest bidders.