Iola Car Show is becoming more modern as they celebrate 47 years

By  | 

IOLA, Wis. (WSAW) -- It all started back in 1972 when Chester Krause and Krause Publications started a newspaper called Old Cars Weekly.

"This was really a marketing thing just to release his publication he offered chicken dinners to anyone who would bring their show cars to the local lions club dinner. That first show was about 20 cars and within three years it had outgrown the space," explained Joe Opperman, the new Executive Director of the Iola Car Show.

Now 47 years later this car show takes over Iola the second weekend in July every year. "Iola is a different town we are 1,301 people and it grows this weekend," explained retiring Executive Director of the show Joan Schultz.

Schultz has been running the show since the 1980s and is handing it off after many years of transformation. "We had no permanent restrooms, now we have some permanent restrooms on the grounds. Our food stands are all buildings not tents that were set up all over," she explained.

The show itself is becoming more modern with an app that helps show the grounds and credit card terminals. "We're really trying to modernize pieces of the show without losing what the show is all about. We are trying to make this show convenient and family friendly." said Opperman.

Other additions this year include a new convention space with a health and wellness area and many must see attractions.

For those that go to the show it just keeps getting better. "It's so interesting here year after year things that you remember back when you were a kid. A lot of interesting people and good camaraderie," explained Bob Bugarske, a Stevens Point resident who has been going for years.

The theme this year is Calling All Car Clubs but next year it's up to you. You can enter in a competition for what the next poster and theme could be at this year's show. The show goes through Saturday.

For more information about the show click here.