TOWN OF BELOIT (WKOW) — 1,200 show cars were scheduled to come to Preservation Park this weekend for the Beloit Autorama, but due to intense rain this week saturating the ground, the car show had to be called off.
“I’m always hopeful that we can pull it off, but after getting here at 7 o’clock, there’s just no way we were gonna do it,” said Autorama co-chair Todd Nelson. “It’s not going to dry out by Sunday. Probably won’t even dry out by next week.”
The first Autorama was 43 years ago, and not once has the event been cancelled completely.
“Three or four years ago, we had complete rain all day, and we still had 210-250 cars,” Nelson said. “But it was just too bad this year to even try to put it on.”
Even in the parts of the park that weren’t pools of water, the ground is drenched, which could cause damage to the cars and the park itself.
“We don’t want to destroy the park, but we also did not want to bring show cars in and get them dirty,” he said. “They would sink. There’s no doubt about that.”
With nowhere else to move the Autorama on such short notice, Nelson has started issuing refunds, but he says several people have refused the refund, telling him to keep the money and donate it to charity as was intended.
“A lot of people have been generous, and they have been donating the money,” he said. “So hopefully we won’t take too big of a hit.”
The Autorama is also still selling 50-50 raffle tickets this weekend. They’ll draw a winner at 3 p.m. Sunday at Preservation Park, despite the lack of a car show.
The Beloit Autorama has raised more than $800 thousand for the Beloit Evening Lions Club over the last 38 years.