For the past 46 years on the second full weekend of July, Iola, Wis., comes alive. Iola is a small town in the central part of the state, barely a dot on the map. But anyone who owns or has a passion for classic cars knows exactly where it is. A full weekend event, car show attendees can get their fill of custom vehicles, hot rods, muscle cars, vintage classics, and more. There is food, music, and a massive swap meet where you can shop for those hard to find parts or a cool t-shirt . Hundreds of vendors display their goods in the sun, anything from radiators and headlight assemblies to toys, fuzzy dice, and even lawn art. And they love to haggle! This year’s theme was Movie Cars and Service Vehicles, so I headed on out to get a glimpse of Herbie the Love Bug and the Munster mobile.
I usually don’t go to Iola, as I am not an avid car-a-holic, but this year I had incentive! I was so excited to attend this year that I took a vacation day and planned to go out early Friday morning and spend all day if I had to. Why, you ask? Because the nicest man in show business today was going to be there, meeting fans and signing autographs. The Fonz was coming my way! I could actually get to meet Henry Winkler, face to face, pink shirt to pink shirt! And get a picture! And get his autograph! Be still my heart…
Like most of you, I grew up watching Happy Days and Laverne and Shirley. I watched Holes with my kids and have seen Mr. Winkler in numerous Adam Sandler movies. Most recently, however, I have binged watched Better Late Than Never on Hulu and of all four traveling legends (in case you don’t know: Henry Winkler, William Shatner, George Foreman, and Terry Bradshaw), I was most impressed with Henry’s gracious and thankful attitude toward his fans. What a funny guy!
OK, enough ranting. I waited in line, got my books, autographs, and picture, and grinned like an idiot for the rest of the week. Well…I’m still grinning…
Iola is fun for everyone. There are different celebrities each year, radio personalities, and really cool cars. The Wittenberg Lions Club fry up some mean cheese curds that you absolutely don’t want to miss. And funnel cake. And ice cream. This is a family friendly event, but the beer is cold and plentiful. Parking is free and there are busses running to and from the outer lots. You can also pay to park privately closer to the main gates, lawn space going for $10 to $15 for the day. Admission this year was $15 for an all-day wristband that allows you to go in and out, or $28 for the entire weekend. Friday and Saturday’s evening concerts are free to attend and there are activities for children. I bought my wrist band at the gate, as I couldn’t get my online ticket purchase to go through. I don’t know if it was my computer, or a glitch in the website.
The theme for 2019 will be “Calling All Cars Clubs” and the event dates are July 11-13. For ticket prices, event schedules, camping information, maps, and other general information, you can visit their website.
I can’t wait to see who is coming next year. Ooooo…maybe Liam Neeson.
#fonz #iola #carshow