The word is out about the ninth annual Sawyer Motors Car Show in Saugerties, taking place this year on Sunday, July 8 from 1 to 6 p.m. “I’ve had many people tell me that of all the car shows they go to – and they travel as far as Ohio or Vermont to go to shows – they love coming to ours, because the entertainment we provide is just over-the-top,” says organizer Bob Siracusano of Sawyer Motors. “We’ve just added another band, so we’ll have five groups this year; and we’re going to put 100 cars down at Diamond Mills, too, and place one of the bands there. That takes things to a new level.”
This expands the territory that the Show normally covers on Market, Main and Partition Streets, and there will be a trolley going up and down the hill on a loop to accommodate visitors. “Of course, if anyone wants the exercise,” says Siracusano, “they can walk, too.”
Also new to the Car Show this year is a group called the Encounters, who sing a cappella and will be found throughout the day as they move through the village, singing their songs at various restaurants. Other groups slated to appear on the four stages of the Car Show are the Big Smoothies, the Devotions, Souled Out and another group yet to be confirmed at presstime.
There are already more than 400 antique, hot rod and classic cars registered for the event, with at least 100 more expected to be registered the day of the event or just prior. Understandably, the weather is an aspect to consider, and many wait until they see what the forecast will be before committing to registering, says Siracusano. At this time, registration is still open, “and the phones are ringing off the hook,” he says, “but there’s a good chance we’ll be sold out. In the past, we’ve always been able to squeeze in one more, but last year we had a couple of groups of 12 and 20 come at the last minute, and a group of that size can take up a good part of the street.”
Market, Main and Partition Streets will be closed to traffic, but businesses on these streets will remain open. In fact, perhaps one of the reasons that Bob Siracusano was chosen the 2012 Businessperson of the Year by the local Chamber of Commerce is his commitment to helping local businesses thrive. He is emphatic about not hiring outside food vendors for the Car Show. “All the restaurants will be open that day,” he says, “and some, like Mirabella’s, will be serving outside as well as inside. I get calls all the time from vendors who want to come in, but we’d rather give the village restaurants the opportunity to have a great day. And it can create new opportunities for them, because they’ll serve people a great meal, and they’ll want to come back.”
Siracusano says that he hopes that the restaurants are prepared, because they expect to bring more people to the village with this Car Show than ever before: “We’re expecting over 10,000 people this year.” Visibility of the show is at an all-time high, he says, due in part to word-of-mouth, but also to having tripled the Show’s advertising budget and putting a billboard on the New York State Thruway. “There are a lot of people who are coming to the show for the first time this year.”
It takes over 100 volunteers to help organize the Car Show. Even now, they’re thinking ahead to the tenth annual event next year. “Because of the reputation we’ve acquired, we’re already having sponsors commit to next year’s show,” says Siracusano. “It’s a good feeling.”
Proceeds each year from the Sawyer Motors Car Show go to a deserving nonprofit charity, with this year’s recipient the Make-a-Wish Foundation. “We’ve been involved with selling the Make-a-Wish stars in the past, and had a lot of people come up to us with generous donations, because they say that they know someone who’s benefited from that process, and know that they’re an outstanding outfit,” says Siracusano. The Foundation can do with the funds as it sees fit, he says, and help the many – “too many” – children who are in need.
The 9th Annual Sawyer Motors Car Show will take place this Sunday, July 8, from 1-6 p.m. and feature more than 400 antique, hotrod and classic cars. The show takes place on Market, Main and Partition Streets (closed to traffic) in Saugerties. For more information, call 246-3412 or log on to village.saugerties.ny.us.