Jensen Park was blanketed in a rainbow of vehicles during the 31st annual Willows Car and Bike Show on Saturday. Hundreds of people from all over the state came to ogle the large collection of classic and state of the art vehicles, while supporting local scholarships.
“I go all the time; this is one of the nicest car shows around,” said Louie Poole, of Woodland. “The weather is fantastic; the food is awesome and people are so nice.”
Poole is the owner of a 1936 Packard, the Best in Show car winner from last year, which was depicted on this year’s event T-shirts. He brought his prized car to the show again this year.
Car show organizers give out about 26 awards, but only one car and one motorcycle earns Best in Show. This year, a 1941 Graham took the top spot for cars, while a 1914 Indian claimed the top spot for motorcycles. Both of these vehicles will be featured on next year’s event T-shirts.
“They did a good job this year,” said Mayor Gary Hansen. “It’s a good show. I’ve seen a lot of cars I haven’t seen before.”
This year’s show made a special tribute to veterans – or rather, someone who’s dedicated to honoring them. Glenn County veteran groups invited Preston Sharp, a Redding boy who travels to different cemeteries to place flowers and flags on veteran graves, to the car show for a special honor.
“To me, that shows a dedication to our veterans that I’ve never seen before,” said Bob Pasero, the announcer at the car show. “Now he wants to do it in all 50 states; help him by donating. It’s for the veterans who died for your freedoms.”
Sharp had been interviewed by a television station at the Willows cemetery a few months ago. During this interview, he explained why he started visiting Northern California cemeteries and honoring veterans. While Pasero interviewed him at the car show, Sharp revealed he wanted to start visiting cemeteries in all 50 states.
“In 2015, I went to a cemetery in Redding on Memorial Day, and I expected to see flags and flowers, but there wasn’t,” Sharp said. “That really bothered me, so I decided to do something about it.”
Sharp’s efforts struck a chord with Glenn County veterans; they decided to help his efforts by collecting community donations. At the car show, Sharp was presented with a check for $725, to help with the cost of flags and flowers as he visits more cemeteries.
“It’s amazing, I did not expect it at all,” Sharp said.
Sharp hung out with the local chapter of the Veterans of Foreign Wars to greet attendees of the car show.
“When you start seeing kids do that, it gives you pride in America again,” said Vern Roberts, a Glenn County veteran.
The Willows Car and Bike show continued well into the afternoon, providing family-fun for all ages.