Rev It Up! car show rolls into Lawrence

Hot rods, standup basses, food and dating is in store for downtown Lawrence on Oct. 8 when the Rev It Up! car show makes its annual appearance this time in South Park.

This year, the event has been moved from its former home of Broken Arrow Park in south Lawrence to South Park. “We had to have a lot of careful talks and planning with city hall, but they finally agreed,” states Stephen Chronister who is the founder of the event. “We decided to move the event from Broken Arrow to South Park for more high-profile exposure.  At Broken Arrow we didn't a lot of the general public. Downtown, we expect to have lots of public participation,” Chronister says.

With a smaller space than Broken Arrow Park to show cars, the list of cars and how many could show played a major factor in this year’s final numbers. “We will have a maximum of 200-225 cars downtown, whereas we could have accommodated probably twice that many at Broken Arrow.” Chronister says. “We will have some slick high-end cars like Vipers and rusted-out rat rods. There will also be stock antiques, antique street rods, 60s and 70s muscle cars, race cars and motorcycles.”

This would include a highly modified '38 Plymouth coupe rat rod, a cherry '62 XKE Jaguar, among others have already been registered and will show at this year’s event. Three rockabilly bands, headlined by Kansas City’s own Adam Lee & the Dead Horse Sound Company are scheduled to play throughout the day.

“We do play a lot of barrooms. We've never played Rev It Up! before, but we've done similar shows in the past. Being outdoors and during the daytime, you get a little bit of a different crowd. More families, kids and pets and stuff. We love it, though. We love playing for all kinds of folks,” says Lee. “We'd just heard some great things about the event. I first heard about it from Slim, one of the organizers, and he's a hell of a nice guy. It seems like a bunch of great people putting together a cool show.”

But according to the Communications Manager for the city, Megan Gillilard, the event almost didn’t happen at its new location, as it barely passed by a 3-2 vote in the city commission with Cromwell, Carter and Dever voting for the event's new home and the closure of Mass.

Through a non-for-profit that Chronister set up, the money from the event will go to the Big Brothers Big Sisters Douglas County.

“There will be some great bands and some fine cars at the show for sure. To everyone who plans to bring a car or just come check some out, it seems to be a great bunch of people working together to make something exciting and memorable. I can't wait,” Lee says.

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