Medina car show will move to senior center parking lot

Photo by Ginny Kropf: Cars are on display at Medina’s Canal Basin during a car show last year. The show is moving to the Senior Center parking lot on West Avenue.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 25 March 2024 at 9:47 pm

MEDINA – The Village Board approved allowing use of the parking lot at the Medina Senior Center at 615 West Ave. as the new home for a car show.

The vote came after several people spoke in favor of keeping the car show at the Canal basin where there is plenty of shade and room for car owners to relax in chairs by the Erie Canal.

The car show in the Canal Basin for nearly 30 years was organized by former Orleans County Sheriff David Green. He retired from the role of car show organizer after last year. The events often drew 80 to 100 cars.

Rollin Hellner and Tom Snyder have offered to organize the shows this year, but Hellner said the costs would be less at the senior center. He owns The Walsh, a bar and restaurant across from the parking lot. He said he can extend his insurance to include the car shows, and also car enthusiasts could also use the bathrooms at The Walsh or nearby Poler’s Pub so port-a-potties wouldn’t need to be rented.

“I want to blow this out of the water,” Hellner said about drawing big crowds for the car show. “I want people to come see our village and beautiful Main Street. It’s going to take the community to make this great.”

Hellner said there are about 80 parking spaces for classic cars when the show moves to the senior center.

Staying at the Canal Basin likely won’t be an option in the near future anyway because Hellner said the state is planning to reconfigure the lot, taking away some parking to add more green space. The state hasn’t announced if and when the project will occur. It is among the proposals for the village’s $4.5 million NY Forward grant.

John Pratt, one of the classic car owners, was among the speakers who said he would prefer the Canal Basin.

“We’ve got a park-like setting,” he said about the Canal Basin. “Everybody likes it down there. It’s user-friendly with the shade and the water. There are a lot of other places they can go and sit in a land old parking lot.”

With the change to the senior center approved, Pratt asked the board to consider closing part of Park Avenue. That would make more space to park classic cars, and provide spots for the owners and their guests to sit in grass with some shade. That suggestion will be considered before the new car show season starts on May 31.

Hellner and Snyder said they are planning 12 car shows until Aug. 30. Two weeks ago they asked that the Super Cruise be on a Friday, with part of Main Street blocked off for about 200 cars. But they have relented from that and agreed to keep the Super Cruise on a Wednesday – Aug. 28.

Village officials don’t want to see Main Street closed on a Friday, which is a busy night for the restaurants.

Marguerite Sherman, the deputy mayor, cast the lone vote against the senior center parking lot for the car show. She wanted to do a walk-through of the parking lot to see how Hellner and Snyder planned to position the cars, to maximize the space. She wanted more time to consider the change, but the other board members agreed to allow use of the lot, with Hellner and Snyder to work out the particular details of how to best host the car shows.

Trustee Tim Elliott made the motion to allow use of the parking lot. He said Hellner and Snyder are eager to start promoting the event.

“The car show in the Canal Basin ended in August,” Elliott said. “This is a brand new car show. It’s their hard work going into this. It’s their money going into it.”