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Cottonwood Heights Journal

Community adapts car show for social distancing

Sep 28, 2020 03:20PM ● By Josh Wood

The Rolling Car Show was a treat for residents and drivers alike. (Joshua Wood/City Journals)

By Joshua Wood | [email protected]

Cottonwood Heights and Midvale City jointly organized a rolling car show on Aug. 22 to create a dynamic community event. Instead of parking classic cars and hot rods for crowds to walk around and check out, the Rolling Car Show passed through neighborhoods in the two cities. The event gave residents the opportunity to check out all the great cars at a safe distance. That distance also allowed residents a rare chance to take off their masks and smile at the people around them.

“People loved it,” said Cottonwood Heights Culture Manager Ann Eatchel. “I got at least half a dozen calls from people thanking me for having such a wonderful event and a safe event.”

Residents could safely watch from their yards and sidewalks as the classic cars and trucks rolled by. Dozens of cars paraded through neighborhoods that evening. With people socially distancing from their yards and in their cars, they could enjoy something they haven’t seen in a while—smiles. 

“Everybody felt a little sense of normalcy during the car show,” Eatchel said. “It went both ways. The people driving the cars got to do something, and the residents got to holler and clap and thank the drivers. All the drivers were thanking me as they signed up. They said, ‘I needed something like this. I needed to do something.’”

Eatchel said the event started with a phone call from resident Chuck Cohen, who organizes the car show for Butlerville Days each July. When Butlerville Days was canceled this year, Cohen made the rolling car show suggestion to Eatchel. “Chuck called and said the residents could really use something,” Eatchel said. “If it wasn’t for him, it never would have happened.”

Car enthusiasts enjoyed the opportunity to show off their classic cars and hot rods, since the events they usually participate in had been canceled this summer. Eldon Romney of Midvale showed off his 1979 MG Midget. “It’s got a 1500cc engine,” Romney said. “It’s a lot of fun. I’ve had it a couple of years. It sure is a riot to drive.”

Drivers brought their cars to the Butler Middle School, and then paraded through the surrounding neighborhoods and then through Midvale. Mike and Karen Morrison brought their 2017 Camaro SS. “It’s got a 103mm throttle body that puts about 500 horsepower to the wheels,” Mike Morrison said. “We like to do autocross, drag racing, and have a good, all-around time with it.”

For Karen Morrison, the car is something she had her eye on for a long time. “I’ve always wanted a Camaro,” she said. “And then we met, got married, and bought one. It’s pretty exciting.”

The Rolling Car Show offered a safe alternative that brought a little sense of normalcy that residents have craved.

“I was happy the city could do something,” Eatchel said.