Head to Main Street this weekend for fun, food and classic vehicles

By: Victoria Mitchell | Royal Oak Review | Published August 9, 2017


CLAWSON — The spotlight will be on the downtown this weekend when vehicle enthusiasts gather for the 19th annual Down on Main Street car show.

The event, hosted by the Clawson Lions Club, will take place rain or shine at 8 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 12. The event always takes place the Saturday before the Woodward Dream Cruise.

“Come on down,” said Howie Airriess, Lions Club member and car show originator. “Everybody is going to be out there, we’ll have a lot of vendors out there having food, a lot of fun, a lot of music, a lot of cars and no rain.”

Airriess is optimistic about having good weather this year following last year’s rainy outing.

Registration will take place from 8 to 11 a.m., and the judging will be begin at 9 a.m. The event ends when the last trophy is presented, usually around 3:30 or 4 p.m.

Car show organizers said the best time for spectators to come is after 10 a.m. to avoid the display setup and traffic. Vehicles may be registered and displayed the morning of the event.

Weather permitting, more than 8,000 attendees are expected to arrive in downtown Clawson, where they will be able to see more than 400 car show entries, including antiques, street rods, muscle cars, trucks, boats, choppers, antique campers and bicycles.

The vehicles and other modes of transportation will be lined up for a half-mile beginning at 14 Mile Road and stretching south on Main Street.

“The event allows a leisurely stroll down Main Street in good weather, and the excitement is in what you will see and who you will meet down on Main Street,” said Mayor Penny Luebs.

Airriess said DJ Rockin’ Ronnie will be down on Main Street playing classic tunes and making it his 18th year in attendance.

“I keep grabbing him out of retirement,” Airriess said. “And everybody loves him, so he keeps coming.”

Clive Brown, Lions Club member and event co-chair, said there will be a midday flag raising at 1 p.m. with a salute to all veterans, presented by Double Action Shooting Range and local Vietnam Veterans of America chapter members.

Brown said that new this year, The Church @ Clawson will be hosting face painting and possibly inflatables in the parking lot.

“None of this would work without the help of the sponsors, registrants and spectators,” Brown said. “This is all for charity.”

The annual Down on Main Street car show serves as the Lions Club’s premier fundraiser.

Organizers said that they will be selling T-shirts, car show posters and popcorn at their yellow tent.

“The Lions Club car show is a Clawson signature event that brings together area history and love of automobiles while raising money for Leader Dogs for the Blind,” Luebs said.

All proceeds from the show will go to Leader Dogs for the Blind, Eversight Michigan, Beaumont Silent Children, the Penrickton Center for Blind Children in Taylor and other charities and projects throughout the year.

Airriess also encourages attendees to shop and dine in downtown Clawson before, after and during the show.

Airriess said he initially came up with the idea to host a car show nearly two decades ago to give the downtown a boost.

“I originally started this show to get things moving on South Main Street,” he said. “I look back now, how it has helped South Main, plus it has turned into the Lions Club’s biggest fundraiser.”

The event was honored with the Putting Clawson on the Map award during the city’s 2016 State of the City and Schools Address and Awards Ceremony.

“This is something I’ve wanted to do for the community for years and years,” Airriess said.

The event is free and open to the public.

For more information, visit clawsonlions.org.