Mopars in the Park: Fairgrounds are ready to rumbleExpect to hear some serious rumbling coming from the Dakota County Fairgrounds this weekend. There will be some muscle cars flexing their oversized engines.
By: Nathan Hansen, The Farmington Independent
Expect to hear some serious rumbling coming from the Dakota County Fairgrounds this weekend. There will be some muscle cars flexing their oversized engines.
A whole lot of muscle cars.
Midwest Mopars expects more than 1,000 cars to fill the fairgrounds Saturday and Sunday for the club’s annual Mopars in the Park show.
The cars — primarily muscle cars built under the Chrysler umbrella — will compete for prizes in 35 categories. It is the biggest Mopars show in the Midwest.
This is the second year the club has brought the show to Farmington, and organizers are thrilled with the way it has been received. When club members made the move last year from Raceway Park in Shakopee, where they were limited to 400 or 500 cars, they expected to take four or five years to grow into the new space. But by late last week all of the vendor and swap meet spaces for this year’s show were full.
That will make for a busy fairgrounds. Trolleys will be available to help visitors take it all in. And there will be plenty to see. This is the 25th anniversary of Mopars in the Park and organizers are bringing in some big name visitors.
Well, big in the world of Mopar cars, anyway.
This year’s event will feature visits from the likes of “Miss Mighty Mopar” Judy Lilly, an early female race driver who will be reunited with her first race car, a vehicle she last saw in 1967; and Diane Sox, the wife of legendary driver Ronny Sox, who died in 2006.
“That’s kind of a big deal,” said Marigale Prokop, one of the show’s organizers.
The show’s swap meet will have hundreds of participants selling and trading everything from auto parts to collector art. Participants can put their car on a dyno and compete to see who can generate the most horsepower and torque. And Mopar guru Galen Govier will be on hand to conduct on-site inspections and appraisals.
The Mopars cars draw a dedicated following.
“The thing about Mopars is that their production numbers when they were built were fairly low in comparison to the numbers of Chevys or Fords that were made,” Prokop said. “They are highly collectible. (Then there’s) the performance aspect of it, with the hemis and the big block engines. The style, the appeal, the colors.... It just makes them pretty unique.”
There will even be a couple of shows within the show. Prokop expects 75 or so Willy’s Jeeps at the fairground for a Midwest Willy’s reunion, and there will be 30 or 35 Winged Warriors — cars with big wings on the back.
There will be a number of unique or seldom-seen cars on display.
The weekend isn’t all about cars, though. There will also be a craft sale featuring jewelry, household products and other items that have nothing to do with motorsports. And there will be food. Lots of food.
“A car show would not be complete without the variety of food vendors,” Prokop said. “If you can think it, they will be there.”
KQRS’s Terry Traen will be at the fairgrounds from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday and KSTP radio’s Paul Brand will be there from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday.
“Basically it’s a two-day family event with something for everyone out there,” Prokop said.
The show will run from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. There is free parking on the fairgrounds.