New Westminster's Royal City Show & Shine returns on Sunday
The 13th annual Royal City Show n Shine is bigger, better, fresher and flush with a title sponsor.
For the first time the classic car party on Columbia Street will be known as the Key West Ford Royal City Show ‘n’ Shine. The Downtown New Westminster Business Improvement Association’s 12th annual event almost didn’t come off, but it proved to have a life of its own.
“Last year was a challenging year,” said BIA executive director Kendra Johnston. “This event has become bigger than the BIA and any organization. Everyone loves this event. We wanted to make sure it continues.”
Every July, Columbia Street is packed with tens of thousands of car buffs, casual and hard core, who come to admire the vintage vehicles.
The traditional car show is the part the BIA didn’t want to change because it’s well run and popular. What the organization did change was the extra elements such as food, entertainment and engaging Downtown businesses with the public out on the street.
The new name that jumps out to many is one of the food vendors, Japadog, which has a huge reputation for delivering fine food to the streets of downtown Vancouver. Johnston said it was a challenge getting them to come, but the owners happen to be real car buffs and so they said, “Why not.” Other new food vendors are Chronic Tacos and Re-Up BBQ.
Johnston said in the past the event has had presenting sponsors, but this was the first time it had gone for a name change.
“We looked at how other events and organizations were structuring their partnership agreements with sponsors, what would be of real value, what we could do to bring in a big fish, to have multi-year partnership. That was the one thing of value for big fish,” said Johnston.
“Key West Ford seemed like a natural fit. They were the first people we went after. They’re very community minded, they sponsored the Hyack parade which was a first for them. It was such a natural fit that it happened pretty quickly once we approached them.”
Key West Ford general manager and partner Adam Isfeld said they are making a concerted effort to be more involved in the community.
“We see the value with our business, and what’s going on in the city of New West, and we want to step up our role in the community,” said Isfeld.
“It’s a great event that’s been running for a long time, and it draws a lot of people into the community. Of course, with it being an event involving vehicles we wanted to get involved with it on a large scale.”
He said Downtown New Westminster has become a more dynamic place in the last four or five years.
“The community has a positive, vibrant outlook for the future. We identify with that, so for us, we see so much work going into the community on a lot of different levels it encourages us to step up and be involved on a higher level with the community.”
Key West will have its own block, between Begbie and Eighth streets, during the Show ‘n’ Shine. They’ll be showing off Ford’s new Roush line, a high performance brand of the classic Mustang. They’ll also have Vancouver Canucks legendary goaltender Kirk McLean, who led the team to the Stanley Cup final in 1994, signing autographs. McLean signed on with Key West Ford a few weeks ago.
“The one thing about Kirk is he is very involved in the Metro Vancouver community, so he’s going to be working with us on a whole bunch of different events,” Isfeld said. “We want to try and lend as much assistance to step out and become a business leader and encourage other businesses to become involved in the community. I think New Westminster is a great story if you look at where it’s going.”
The Show & Shine runs 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, July 8.