The 20th Classic Car event was a success for businesses in Palos Heights, officials said. (Photo by Jeff Vorva)
Palos Heights officials say Classic Car show was good for business
By Jeff Vorva
The Palos Heights City Council took a victory lap Aug. 1 over the huge numbers the Classic Car event received when it was held downtown in July.
There were a record 682 cars at the event – almost double some of the higher number of participants in the past – and estimates of the crowd ranged from 6,000 to 8,000.
It was good for business.
It was the 20th running of the event and the crowds on July 20 under great weather conditions should have helped local businesses on Harlem Avenue, according to Alderman Jeffrey Key, who spoke at the Aug, 1 city council meeting.
“Some of the businesses really played to the crowd,”, Key said. “The restaurants were very full. The line at the shaved ice place [Sno Daze Tropical Sno] was long.
“That’s why the car show exists. To bring people to the business district.”
For some, parking wasn’t all that easy to find.
That caused Alderman Michael McGrogan to wonder aloud if the growth of the event might lead to providing a shuttle service.
“If it’s like that ever again, maybe we should make a deal with [St. Alexander’s Catholic Church] or somebody and they can park there and have a little bus to go from there [to the event].
“If it’s getting that popular, and it seems like it’s building momentum, we might want to do something like that.”
Key praised the work of the Public Works department for a quick cleanup.
“It’s stunning how much in an event like that how much garbage is generated,” Key said. “Thousands of people are walking along Harlem Avenue and dropping stuff. And it’s just beautiful the next day.”
Mayor Bob Straz added that organizer Bob Starzyk and the Beautification Committee deserve kudos for building this into such a huge event.
“I take my hat off to Bob, who has devoted his life to the show,” Straz said. “Every year, he says it’s going to be his last year, but we have to keep him coming back.”
Big plans for Orchard Park
The council approved a $498,034.35 bid to Minooka-based Hacienda Landscaping LLC for the development of the Orchard Park project.
Key said there will be walking paths, play equipment and a splash pad included in the park, which will be located next to the Recreation Center at 6579 W. 127th St.
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