I spent this past Sunday at an awesome event. A certain “Lambo Orange” Merc owner told me this show was a must see and he was right. I made the trek west to Amboy Illinois and I was surprised to see the town completely taken over by the Depot Days Show. Cars lined the downtown area and neighboring parking lots, guys on stilts were prowling the streets and every ten minutes or so an air horn was blowing but I’ll get to that later.
The Depot Days Car, Truck and Motorcycle show is put on by the Amboy Car Show Committee. The Car Show committee is a non for profit organization that consists of a loose knit group of people who love cars, who are committed to putting on an amazing show and who are dedicated to giving back to the town they love. For roughly the first 18 years of the show the proceeds went into restoring the Depot, the steam engine and caboose that are fixtures in the town of Amboy. Once that project was completed the proceeds have continuously gone back into the community; to the library, the fire department, the local food pantry, even beautification projects in and around Amboy. The Depot Days Car, Truck and Motorcycle Show is truly an altruistic event. All the hard work is done for the love of cars, and to give back. I’m here to tell you you’ll be hard pressed to encounter a nicer group of people. I know you all have been to shows where it seems like they’re doing you a favor by letting you visit but it’s not like that at Depot Days. A genuine welcome and a sincere thank you and even apologies for the weather; that dang weather that just didn’t cooperate. Although it rained all day the attitude throughout was “what rain”. It goes without saying clearer skies would have brought out more rides but for a soggy day the turnout was impressive to say the least!
Now back to that air horn. First I need to fill you in on 50/50 that happens in conjunction with this show. It has grown to epic proportions and baffles the minds of the Car Show Committee, not to mention the spectators who were lining up to buy tickets by the handfull. Somehow and luckily enough for the Car Show Committee, the Depot Days 50/50 drawing is almost as popular as the show. Friends, there was over $30,000 in the pot, before the show opened and it grew another $42 thousand and change throughout the day. Enter the air horn, it blew every time the pot rose $500.00 and let’s just say that thing was blowing ALL day, at one point the prize grew $1,000 in ten minutes. There was an air of expectancy that was palpable as I walked around the show. I think while everyone was checking out the rides they were mentally spending the 50/50 jackpot they all (including myself) believed they were going to win. Ultimately the $46,000+ went to a lucky Amboy resident, with an additional $1,000 going to a lucky spectator that stuck it out through the rain. Oh well, there’s always next year!
Check out that 50/50 drum and there was still about 2 hours left when this shot was taken. Here is jsut a fraction of the Car Show Committees projects.
The show went on with smiles, judging and just a lot of fun regardless of the weather.
Here is a quick walk through just some of the show, there were some pretty cool rides out.
Check out the “Most Recent Show Gallery” to see more from Depot Days. Great people, great town and a really great show, I’m looking forward to next year’s show and am already “spending” the 50/50 jackpot I just KNOW I’m going to win.
Garth, thanks for all the info about your awesome event. I’m just sorry we didn’t get to meet face to face. You and your crew put on an amazing event and I can’t wait to come back next year. Maybe sooner, I just can’t get over the candy selection at the pharmacy.