City Square Park in downtown Chaska will soon be filled with alluring machines.
The sixth annual Flags and Honor of Minnesota Car, Bike & Tractor Show is 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 10.
With classic vehicles parked on the grass, and under the shade of the trees, it lends a different atmosphere than many other car shows held in parking lots.
Flags and Honor President Scott Bradley often hears from participants that “this is the nicest show venue that they’ve ever been to anywhere, and how well the city takes care of the park.”
Last year 150 vehicles registered for the show, including 20 tractors. Spectators can expect to see machines ranging from 1920s-era Model As to muscle cars and street rods, Bradley said.
Entrants choose their favorites among the vehicles for a top 21 format. “We hand out 21 trophies for cars and trucks and do top 5 for bikes and tractors,” Bradley said.
Something new this year is a people’s choice award for first, second and third place. “Anyone who comes down will get a ballot and they can vote on their favorite cars,” Bradley said.
Even more special than the cars is the mission of the nonprofit Flags and Honor.
Money raised helps veterans in need. “We are a 501(c) nonprofit that has the ability to help fund emergency situations,” Bradley said. “Hopefully when people are desperate, we can help them out. That’s why we are here.”
Over the years the organization has given “tens of thousands” of dollars to Carver and Scott county veterans and their families, Bradley said. He remembers a veteran whose husband died who didn’t have the funds to pay for the funeral. Flags and Honor stepped in to cover the costs.
The group works with Carver County Veterans Service Officer Dan Tengwall. “When Dan gets taxed with an emergency situation on a Friday afternoon or Saturday, he knows that he can call me, and we can get him a check to get to that veteran,” Bradley said. “We’re kind of the last hope.”
The organization raises the money through entry fees — $10 per vehicle, who are also asked to bring a food or cash donation for the local Bountiful Basket Food Shelf.
The group sells food and beverages at the event. This year they’ll offer pulled-pork sandwiches, courtesy of Cuzzy’s Brick House in Chaska, and hamburgers and cheeseburgers. There will also be a silent auction.
The organization has 40 members, plus a number of other volunteers who help with the show. “It takes everybody. We have a lot of volunteers that are friends and family and members of different organizations. We always have something for somebody to do,” he said. (Bradley notes that the group is currently seeking someone to take on its social media and website pages.)
Flags and Honor also relies on a number of sponsors, this year notably the Boston Beer Company.
Clayton Mechtel, 15, of Victoria, will provide music as the new DJ (the previous DJ retired, Bradley said). Mechtel will continue to provide the popular trivia questions throughout the event.
The show will start with an American Legion color guard and flag raising ceremony, national anthem and Pledge of Allegiance.
This year, organizers have asked Chaska’s American Legion Post 57 to help recognize 15 WWII and Korean War veterans.
Then, Bradley said, “the show is on.”