‘On the River’ Car Show sees big crowds, unique vehicles, little rain


The annual “On The River” car show was held under cloudy skies this past Saturday, but in spite of the threat of showers that kept some of the exhibitors away and some sporadic sprinkles in the afternoon, overall the event was a huge success.

“It was down a little, but I had about 100 calls between Friday and Saturday,” event host Mike Bear said. “They wanted to know if we were canceling or having it; and I told them that if it wasn’t raining here in Vevay, we were having it. It didn’t rain until about 1:30, but it was good.”

Bear said that overall there were 260 entries on Saturday, which was down just a bit from last year’s total of 330, but he said there were lots of positives.

“It was easier to handle, everything went smoother,” Bear said of the slightly smaller turnout. “We did the awards a little earlier. It was a good bunch of people. It was a good time. Really, it’s better than having it the other way, where you’re too busy and you can’t get everything done as quickly as you’d like to. It worked out great.”

Bear said that the main reason for the lower number was the weather, noting that many exhibitors simply will not expose their vehicles to the weather.

“Every call I got on Saturday was about the rain and the weather,” he said.

The weekend started on Friday night with a parade of vehicles through town, and that and other Friday events saw a tremendous turnout.

“Friday came out really good,” Bear said. “The parade was good. I think it might have been a little better than last year. Roger, our trash pick up man, said that he knew it was better because there was more trash!”

The award for the Best of Show went to Nicole Miller from Ohio for her 1964 Pontiac LeMans convertible, but Bear said that the story behind the car had a big impact on the judges and everyone else who heard it.

“The lady, she’s over 90 years old, bought it new, and her husband passed away and she was going to get rid of it, but her son talked her into letting him have it and redo it,” Bear said. “They were all there when the trophies went out, even the old lady. That was great. The story carried a lot of weight with the judges. It may have not been the sharpest, best car there, but with that story, it really carried a lot of weight.”

When it came to present the award for the exhibitor who traveled the furthest to bring his car to the show, there was never any doubt as to who that would be.

Tony and Lisa Christakis brought their Pontiac Station Wagon from Auburn, Maine – a distance of approximately 1,100 miles – to Vevay.

“He is originally from Gary, Indiana,” Bear said of Christakis. “Now he lives in Maine. He said that he had been to Switzerland County a couple of times and loved it down here, and he was driving the old Pontiac wagon to the show, and he did. Friday night and Saturday he was here. He got the distance award. He didn’t say how many miles, but who disputes Maine?”

Overall, Bear and his fellow organizers were quite pleased with the 2015 edition of the car show – an event that has now become a county destination for car enthusiasts all over the area.

“We enjoy it,” he said. “It’s a lot of work, but we enjoy doing it.”