Big turn-out for North Fork event

An estimated crowd of 500 to 600 gathered in downtown North Fork Saturday night for the North Fork Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center’s Hot August Nights car show.

More than 50 classic and custom cars lined both sides of Road 200, with three bands playing as attendees strolled through town admiring the vehicles.

“We got great feedback as we walked through the event,” said Dee Salazar of Bass Lake Realty, and chamber vice president. “We were stopped and congratulated by visitors, as well as our vendors, local businesses, and classic car owners for putting on a great event. They all said they are looking forward to returning next year.”

Ed and Mary Carlton of Oakhurst had their baby blue 1950 Chevy convertible on display. They have owned the classic car, which has been totally customized from one end to the other, for 10 years.

The car, which was voted Best of Show in it’s class (1941-50), is powered by a Chevy 350 cubic inch motor and transmission, has ‘air ride’ suspension, white leather tuck n roll upholstery, and a Carson convertible top.

A couple admires of the car were sisters Kahrter, 7, and Rheid Ching, 4.

Ed Carlton allowed the girls to sit in the car because it would give them a memory they would never forget.

“I was happy to give those girls the opportunity to sit in one of America’s classic automobiles,” Ed said.

Ed said he and his wife enjoyed the evening and talking with everyone about his car.

“The chamber did a great job organizing this event,” Ed said. “I was here a couple years ago for this show, but this year, the crowds exploded. The turn-out was more than I expected, and we’ll be back for sure next year.”

In addition to the cars, the event also offered an art show, crafts, and information booths including the California Highway Patrol, and representatives from the Sierra Mono Museum. Next to the booth, Mono Indian children, wearing colorful regalia, performed Native American dances. Although the Aug. 1 and 2 Sierra Mono Museum Indian Fair Days and Pow Wow was canceled due to the Willow Fire, tribal members took the opportunity of the event to crown North Fork’s Daisey Bethel, 14, Pow Wow Queen.

Food from a number of vendors included baked goods by North Fork Women’s Club, kettle corn, Italian ice, and Nancy’s Indian Tacos.

Musical groups performed in front of Pizza Factory, Slim’s Koffe Shak, and the North Fork Studio.

“It’s great to have so much activity in downtown North Fork,” chamber board member Jenny Pearson said. “It was our goal to bring the car show back, and it succeeded beyond our wildest expectations.”

The event was sponsored by North Fork Napa Auto Parts, K&B Auto Parts, and Madera County District 5 Supervisor Tom Wheeler.

“We would really like to thank all of the people who came to our Hot August Nights Car Show, as participants or spectators, to help make it such a success,” said champer President Rebecca Kern of Kern Family Farm.

Hot August Nights car show award winners

*  Best in Show: Bill Pardini’s ’69 Camero

*  Best Engine: Richard Gill’s ’55 Chevy BelAir

*  Best Interior: Bill and Linda Gear’s ’56 Super 88 Olds

*  Best Paint: Phil Meadow’s ’38 Chevy Sedan

*  Most Unusual: Mike and Linda Gamel’s ’28 Ford Woody Wagon

Best in Show by class:

*  pre1930s: Mike and Linda Gamel’s ’28 Ford Woody Wagon

*  ’31-’40: Bill Sturrock’s ’34 Chevy

*  ’41-’50: Ed Carlton’s ’50 Chevy Convertable

*  ’51-’60: Frank and Della Salcido’s ’51 Chevy

*  ’61-’70: Edward Valdez’s ’69 Camero

*  ’71-’80: Ed and Carol George’s ’72 Corvet

*  Street Rod: Catfish Bass’s ’63 Ford Galaxy

*  Sports Car: Neil and DeeDee Niblett’s ’48 B Ford

*  Rusted Wreck: Richard and Lori Clark’s ’46 Dodge