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Bear Lake Car Show – Summer Cool a Rock Skip Over The Utah Border


As much as summer is my favorite time of year it's nice to take a trek north of home and let those summer temperatures drop a few degrees. That's what I did the second weekend of July.The Bear Lake Valley is divided by two states but the big lake in the middle of the whole thing brings folks from all over to enjoy the water and to relax in its expansive splendor. The same could be said for the Bear Lake Car Show.

Hosted in Montpelier, ID, twenty five miles north of the Utah border along US Highway 89, The Bear Lake Car Show held their twelve annual gathering that brought cars and people from all over the region. Local Idaho cars were featured as well as vehicles from surrounding states Utah, Nevada, Wyoming and Montana.

The weather was in the low 80's when Friday's events unfolded starting with a barbeque in town that evening.This was followed by a cruise to Garden City, Utah, on the shores of beautiful Bear Lake, for ice cream and shakes. Severalvehiclesmade the thirty mile one way trip back down US 89 while driving through small historic Idaho hamlets such as St. Charles, Fish Haven, Bloomington and the county seat for Idaho's Bear Lake County, Paris.

Saturday was car show day and Wells Stock Park at the intersection of US 89 and US 30 in Montpelier is the ideal location is there ever was one.Surrounded by an abundance of trees and lush grass the city park made for a great backdrop to display the vehicles that had traveled near and far to be a part of this event. The Rotarians hosted a pancake breakfast followed by lunch of burgers that was well attended and supported. In fact the two organizations that the fundraiser was supporting, End Polio Now and the Rotary, raised close to $1200 in support contributions. Not bad for a show slightly under one hundred cars and spectated by hundreds of others.

Several sponsor picks were handed out to very deserving owners and two best of show winners were announced. Both winners appear on the following year's t-shirt. But the part that is refreshingly different is one vehicle is a local while another is one who has traveled from out of the local region. A fair balance as one gripe I have overheard at shows is the favoritism factor of locals versus out-of-towners when it comes to specialty awards at some of the smaller shows.

One challenge that this show has had in recent years is the lack of lodgings in the Montpelier area. The first year I attended in 2011 we had to stay in Soda Springs, a thirty mile drive away; as there were few lodgings coupled with other city events such as softball tournaments and the like. The organizers decided to make a change to alleviate this problem and for 2019 they will move this show to the last weekend in July. Usually one of the hottest weekends along the Wasatch that may bring others over the mountain to the Bear Lake Valley seeking cooler weather and a warm hospitable balance.

For me personally it was a fun weekend and a three state journey of around four hundred and fifty miles by rolling east to Evanston, Wyoming and back into Utah towards Montpelier. Then home via picturesque Logan Canyon after a fun and laid back time that I look forward to doing again. Where my wheels take me from here is anybody's guess….

Until next time…
See you out and about and keep the rubber side down.

​This 1938 Chevy Sedan is a prime example of great taste and good craftsmanship. One of several street rods in attendance.

​This tribute to Mayberry and The Andy Griffith Show made its way from Elko, Nevada to the Bear Lake Valley for the weekend. This Ford features the front North Carolina plate and even the "fishin' pole" for good measure.

​I am a sucker for '66-'67 Chevelles and why not! They are one awesome ride. This one from Wyoming was displayed proudly and with good cause.


© All text and photos 2018 Jay Horrocks Jr. unless otherwise noted.

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Friday, 06 December 2019
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