The Lakers Car Club plans to mark the 25th anniversary of its Spring Roundup in Williams Lake this weekend in style.
The community is once again invited to celebrate the club’s silver anniversary of hosting the wildly-popular event over two days : Saturday, May 25 and Sunday, May 26 in the city’s downtown core featuring events and sights to see throughout.
“It’s going to be a special one, no doubt,” said Lakers Car Club member and one of the event’s longtime organizers, Paul Christianson.
“The club had been around for a long time but it was in 1994 when we started having shows consistently, and this year marks our 25th official Spring Roundup.”
The Spring Roundup features two days of automobile-themed events for the entire community to take part in.
Whether you’re looking to take a trip down memory lane, or check out some of the latest and greatest rides the Cariboo has to offer during the Show and Shine portion of the event Sunday, or participating in the poker run cruise, then stopping by the Ramada Convention Centre Saturday for dinner in support of the event Saturday, there’s a little of something for everyone, Christianson said.
Looking back, Christianson noted the event has come a long way in its 25-year existence.
“We started out having little shows inside the curling rink,” he said. “We probably only took in about 20 cars if we were lucky.”
Once the Lakers outgrew the space inside the curling club they moved outdoors to the Williams Lake Stampede Grounds.
“We hosted it there for several years where we would get about 40 cars, and then moved into the downtown,” he said.
“Our first one downtown we’d grown to about 200 cars.”
Christianson estimates that number still holds steady today as participants flock from throughout the Cariboo and abroad, including from places such as Terrace, McBride, Fort St. John, Quesnel, Prince George, 100 Mile House, Alberta and a regular group who travel from Washington to attend.
“A lot of the times it has to do with peoples’ memories of when they were younger for some people and, of course, for the younger people they’re looking at the future,” he said.
“[Cars] kind of put a time stamp on life.”
Each year, Lakers Car Club members work hard to put on a great show for the community, he said, and to generate enthusiasm.
Asked what he thinks people enjoy about the Spring Roundup weekend, Christianson said everyone has their own reasons.
“It’s interactive,” he said. “Whether it’s the raffles we have, our door prizes — things like that — the community has been fantastic in supporting us and that’s what makes it possible to keep the enthusiasm up.”
The Lakers Car Club currently consists of roughly 30 members, however, Christianson said they are always looking for new members, new help and new ideas.
Saturday’s festivities at the Spring Roundup get underway with the cash prize poker run starting at noon, followed by a cruise beginning at 4:30 p.m. and a dinner to follow at 6:30 p.m. at the Ramada Convention Centre.
Sunday’s Show and Shine begins with registration at 8:30 a.m. with the show to follow at 10 a.m. This year’s Show and Shine will also feature a silent auction with items generously donated from the community.
The award presentation gets underway at 3:30 p.m. All cars, trucks, motorcycles and tractors are welcome. Lakers Car Club members also encourage the public to attend the annual Children’s Festival also taking place on Sunday, May 26 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Boitanio Park.
Christianson also thanked the event’s major sponsors for this year’s event: Canadian Tire, Williams Lake Forestry Supplies and Sun Valley Gas.
“We get a tremendous amount of support from the community whether it’s door prizes small or large, cash — we make use of it the best we can to spend our money locally and we donate locally during the year [to various organizations],” he said.
“We just can’t thank the community enough for their support.”