Hot Nite in the City, the oldest downtown classic vehicle show in the province, is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year — a silver anniversary to match the steel and chrome prevalent at the event.
Ron Popove, chairman and organizer for Hot Nite, has been helping to bring the event to Kamloops for 19 years of those 25 years.
“Nobody wants the job,” he quipped about his longevity.
Hot Nite in the City is a static vehicle display that features everything from cars to pickups and motorcycles to transport trucks. It was started in 1994 by the Kamloops chapter of the Vintage Car Club of Canada.
“We even have boats this year,” Popove said.
Hot Nite will stretch along Victoria Street from First Avenue to Sixth Avenue. The event will run from Friday through Sunday alongside the popular Ribfest festival in Riverside Park.
(Hot Nite features a Friday night poker run for participants, with the Saturday show and shine the main attraction. Sunday will see vehicles displayed in Riverside Park in the Ribs and Rods event.)
Music and entertainment will be featured on Saturday along the six-block strip that hosts Hot Nite. There will be a main stage at Victoria Street and Fourth Avenue and DJs at Victoria Street and First Avenue and Victoria Street and Fifth Avenue.
New this year is a salmon barbecue competition in the Plaza Hotel parking lot, at Victoria and Fourth.
Hot Nite registration numbers are strong, with more than 300 cars signed up for the event. People can sign up right until the morning of the event, so those numbers are likely to climb.
Popove said participants hail from Kamloops, across Canada and the U.S.
Hot Nite in the City is clearly a big event for car collectors and aficionados.
“I had a guy tell me the other day, if you’re going to do one car show in the summer, you have to go to Kamloops,” Popove said. “A remark like that makes you feel good.”
Popove recommends attendees leave their dogs at home and be conscious of the displays while avoiding bumping or scratching the valuable vehicles.
He also suggests talking to the owners of the vehicles.
“Every car has a story,” he said.
A notable aspect of Hot Nite is Electric Avenue, with electric vehicles featured along Second Avenue between Victoria and Seymour streets.
Hot Nite in the City has grown substantially since its start in 1994. Originally held on a Thursday night, the show took up only two blocks of Victoria Street. After moving the event to the weekend, which allowed for more involvement from people outside Kamloops, Hot Nite grew, reaching a high as 546 vehicles for a single show.
Popove praised everyone who works behind the scenes to organize Hot Nite, from the many volunteers, to the city’s help with bylaw officers and trash collection, to the Kamloops Central Business Improvement Association’s involvement.
“Everybody has their little job and they do it very well,” he said.
A schedule of events, a list of sponsors and vendors and more information can be found online at hotniteinthecity.com.