Downtown Car Show Adds Vendors, Entertainment in Partnership with Main Street

By Jeremy Coumbes on June 8, 2023 at 4:52pm

Cars lined up for the 2022 Downtown Car Show

An annual Central Park Plaza event has joined forces with Jacksonville Main Street and expanded in a big way this year.

The 27th annual Downtown Plaza Car Show returns to the square this Saturday. Joel Buchanan with the Morton Avenue Misfits, the organization in charge of the event, says if the weather cooperates, between 200 and 250 cars will hopefully be on display.

He says the decision to partner with Jacksonville Main Street this year has added a big boost to the event while alleviating some of the stress from the car show organizers.

The Main Street group has helped take over some of the vendor stress responsibility this year and we’re supposed to have forty-plus craft, art, and different types of vendors set up along with the food vendors. And they’ve got three different bands playing all day long, so we’ve got the potential of having possibly the largest event car show-wise that we’re had so far.”

The Morton Avenue Misfits took over the downtown car show nine years ago from Tom Winner and the Heart of Jacksonville group and immediately expanded the event to offer a Morton Avenue cruise that evening.

But Buchanan says the root of the event is still the judged car show that has become known for the one-of-a-kind handcrafted trophies. He says with a plethora of classes, there is a little something for everyone to see.

Anything and everything from 1930s Model As, 32 Fords, and street rods through the 40s. Tri-Five Chevys, Corvettes, Mustangs, late model trucks, newer stuff. It’s just one of those shows where there is a sampling of a little bit of everything. So just about anything that you might like to look at, well there’s a good chance you’ll see at least one if not half a dozen of them down there. We’ve got rat rods, four-wheel drives, so it usually ends up being a really good time”

Buchanan says there are event events tailored more for kids and the young at heart. “We added a pedal car class a couple of years ago and we continue to do that. We line those up around the monument in the middle. So there’s a little bit for everybody, we’ve even got Hot Wheels racing for the kids, something that we sponsor for free. So there’s a lot to do for anybody and everybody in any age or background.”

Vehicle registration begins at 8:00 am and runs till noon, with a $20.00 registration fee. Buchanan says there is no need to pre-register or think you need to bring a perfect vehicle. He says if you want to show it then just bring it to the square.

Judging begins after 12 noon and the awards presentation is at 3:00 pm. Buchanan says then the public is invited down to Morton Avenue for the Summer Cruse Night headquartered at Hardee’s from 5 to 9 pm.