East Shelby FD hosts car show, flea market and swap meet
By Sue Cook, staff reporter
KNOWLESVILLE – The Orleans County fairgrounds was packed today with hundreds of people for the East Shelby Volunteer Fire Company’s September to Remember event.
This is the 12th year that the East Shelby Fire Company has put on the event, watching it grow from just a small swap meet to what it is today. The swap meet let vehicle enthusiasts get together to exchange parts and information.
“It was just a swap meet the first two or three years,” said event chairman Dave Green. “We thought we would give it up because we weren’t getting many people or making any money really, but then we started the truck and car show and it just took off and it’s gotten bigger and bigger every year.”
Today, about 50 trucks came out for the show ranging from 1900 until present in both modified and unmodified categories. The car show is much more popular and about 300 cars are expected to participate.
Tracy Flint from Barre brought a modified 1941 Chevy truck for the Saturday show. He purchased it eight years ago and has been making changes to it ever since. The vehicle now sports a gothic look that includes spiderwebs and skulls.
“It’s my retirement project,” he said. “When I first got it, I was going to make a rat rod out of it. The only rule with rat rods is to do it the way you want and this is the way I want it. I wanted something different.”
Flint has a shop at his house that he uses to modify his truck and fabricate parts. The wood that lines the bed of the truck was cut from a black walnut tree in Albion 20 years ago. Flint estimates he’s put about $15,000 into the truck so far and keeps it nice for shows, rather than driving it as a regular daily vehicle.
The event features 140 vendors that make up the swap meet, flea market and craft show, as well as a car/truck show and a lawn-and-garden tractor pull. The truck show was Saturday, while Sunday will feature only cars. The Ladies Auxiliary is also serving food. About 50 volunteers from the Fire Company and the Ladies Auxiliary run event.
“It depends on the weather, but we can make anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000,” said Green. “Last year it was $5,000 when it rained all day on Saturday. It’s a good fundraiser for our fire department. Gear and stuff is so expensive to buy and we need all the money we can get. This helps us out.”
The lawn-and-garden tractor pull will return again on Sunday. Participants in the pull can be as young as six years old, though they generally pull on the smaller, often unmodified tractors.
Nick Zandrowicz, 13, wanted to start when he was four, but had to wait. He had watched his uncle doing tractor pulls with a triple-snowmobile-engine tractor and was excited to get started. When he turned six, he began immediately competing in events. His older sister also participates in tractor pulls.
“My parents fund this. I couldn’t afford to do this myself,” he said. “This is is something that they really support. We’re more of a motorsport family. We have a full trophy case of trophies between me and my sister.”
Marvin Cummings from Oakfield has been a hobby tractor puller for about 10 years. He attended the event today with a modified garden tractor to run exhibition instead of for a prize.
“It’s just a hobby,” he said. “You don’t prep, you just pull up to the track, put it to the floor and you go as fast as you can go. There’s no practicing until you get here.”
His fiance, Pat Keller, added, “I think it’s great. It’s something to do and something to look forward to. It’s great to come out here.”
The event continues Sunday rain or shine from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. and will feature the car show. There will also be musical entertainment. Parking is $5 per car.