Boyhood fascination leads to resurrecting car show
As a youngster growing up in Kasson, Ryan Jech vividly recalls the Festival in the Park celebration when it featured a car show.
“I just remember coming here as a kid checking out the cars,” Jech said. “I really enjoyed it.”
Jech was disappointed to see a few years ago when the festival stopped the car show. There hasn’t been a car show for about six years.
This year Jech decided to do something about it as his boyhood fascination led to resurrecting the car show. He stepped up to organize the event Saturday morning by Veteran’s Park. “I wanted to be the one to bring it back,” he said.
The show attracted 43 classics for a trio of classes and seven others as project cars to show off to spectators. “I wasn’t expecting half of that,” he said.
There were three categories in this year’s competition: best in paint, best interior and best in show. Trophies were awarded to each of the winners.
Jech, who also served as the judge for the contest, was impressed with what he saw in the show. “There are some very high quality vehicles here,” he said looking up and down the street filled with classics. “It’s nice to see them all,” he added.
He finds there are many different variations to do with vehicles, and he likes to see what people come up with. “The way a person has their car designed tells a lot about that person,” Jech says. He said the final product shows how much pride a person has in their vehicle.
Among the many classics on display was a 1932 Model A, which was the oldest vehicle at the show. “It was the hot rod of choice back in the day,” said Jech, who works in the grounds department at Kasson-Mantorville Schools.
Jech’s personal favorite is the 1954 Ford F100. “The way they look has always caught me eye,” he said.
But it’s not just the cars themselves that intrigues Jech. “It’s fun to hear the stories some of these car owners have about their vehicles,” he said.
Even though Jech has a great love for old cars, he currently does not own one himself. If he ever gets one, his dream car would be a 1955 or 56 Chevy. He said he may have to do a little persuading with his wife before he’s able to get a classic car of his own.
Jech is happy he pushed to bring the car show back to Kasson. “It’s a way for the locals to come together and have some fun,” he said. “It’s nice to see your neighbors walking around and have fun.”
He feels the car show helps the overall festival. “It’s a big crowd pleaser,” Jech said. “I just wanted to be the one to bring enjoyment back to Kasson.”
Jech is already planning ahead to next year, which will be the 30thanniversary of the festival. “I want to make (the car show) twice as big next year,” he said. “I really want to blow it out of the water for the 30th.”