A 25-year-long Father’s Day tradition could be coming to an end in Mission.
Organizers of the annual Old Car Sunday in the Park event have issued a release notifying the public that the show’s successful run has come to an end.
The press release states: “After 25 successful years of running our specialty and vintage car show, the current organizing committee of Old Car Sunday in the Park has decided that the 2016 show would be the last show coordinated by this executive.”
The release goes on to note the decision was not an easy one to make however “due to the lack of committed, dedicated volunteers to maintain the core organizing committee (some of whom have been involved since the beginning) and the fact that the membership of the organizing car clubs that put on Old Car Sunday in the Park is declining, the committee decided that now is the right time to step aside.”
Lilah Warren and her husband Don, of Rumbleseat Restorations in Mission, have been involved with the show from the very beginning.
According to Lilah the idea was created by her husband at the local shop. She explained that Brian Minter, of Minter Gardens fame, used to hold a car show, but decided to cancel it. So Don decided they should do their own show. And the event has kept growing for the past quarter-century.
“It has been absolutely 25 wonderful years,” said Lilah. “We have enjoyed doing the show, but my hubby’s health last year wasn’t as good so we thought we’d do the 25th year and then have to step back.”
While she is sad to see it end, Lilah said many members of the organizing committee are getting older.
“It’s been a tremendous load on some of them. It’s harder to get volunteers from the club.”
Lilah said her husband wanted to stop last year, but she talked him into doing the 25th anniversary show.
She also said the decision to cancel the event has nothing to do with last year’s decision by the District to not renew the Mission Heritage Society’s management contract and have Parks, Recreation and Culture take over the management of Fraser River Heritage Park.
In fact, she said working with parks staff was “absolutely fabulous” last year.
The District has been notified of the decision and has expressed an interest in possibly taking over the organizing of the car show for next year.
Mission parks director Maureen Sinclair said she has talked with the Warrens and is hopeful that they can partner with the group to keep the event going.
“They (the Warrens) said they would help in the transition but we are certainly hoping that Old Car Sunday is something that continues to go on for another 25 years.”
This is the second public event in Mission that organizers have decided to cancel.
In July of this year, the Mission Association for Community Living (MACL) announced that the 2016 Illuminaria Lantern Festival was being cancelled, noting the event had grown beyond what organizers could manage.
Council has decided not to take over the organization of the lantern festival.