STORY WRITTEN BY REBECCA BLANCHARD
@boyertowntimes on Twitter
It wouldn’t be Labor Day weekend in Boyertown without Duryea Day.
On Saturday, Sept. 5, the Duryea Day Antique & Classic Car & Truck Show & Flea Market will be celebrating 50 years.
The Boyertown Museum of Historic Vehicles has been hosting this car show since its start in 1965. Commonly known as “Duryea Day” to locals, the event is designed to offer something for everyone — and everyone is invited.
“It’s growing more popular every year – it’s astonishing,” said Museum Curator Kendra Cook.
This anniversary celebration will be highlighting Pennsylvania-built cars and trucks, including Dile automobiles manufactured in Reading in the 1910s. “It’s a great milestone for us,” said Cook, hoping for nice weather that weekend.
Throughout the years, Cook says the biggest change is likely the attendance numbers. She heard that about 100 cars came that first year back in 1965 — last year more than 650 cars and trucks participated.
“That was our best year ever,” says Cook, and they hope to beat that number this year.
So far, there are about 200 cars preregistered for the event – which is “on par” with past years. Preregistration closes Aug. 29. Folks can also register the day of the event, and a majority do. All makes, models and years are welcome.
“We don’t want to put a restriction on it, we want it to be a varied show,” said Cook. “We encourage all ages, interests and backgrounds. We want to encourage the hobby — all stages of the hobby.”
For the past 15 years, Duryea Day has been held at the Boyertown Community Park on Madison Street. The arrangement has been working out well.
“The nice part about the park is the shaded areas,” she explained, adding how car shows are usually held in open fields or lots. “The cars are in a wooded area so spectators can escape in the shade without missing the show.”
The museum staff has been busy all summer preparing for the annual Labor Day weekend event. And this year’s Duryea Day will be a first for Deborah JH Bertolet, the museum’s executive director.
“It will be nice for her to walk into an event that’s established in the community,” said Cook, admitting that her personal favorite part of the show is the trucks — which will have their own field.
Throughout the day, trollies will be shuttling attendees between the park and the museum. These shuttles offer a chance to see some of the museum’s inside displays such as their special food truck exhibit, the 1938 Reading Diner and the 1921 Sunoco gas station. Admission fee to Duryea Day includes admission to the museum.
Duryea Day is organized and run by the Boyertown Museum of Historic Vehicles and the Pottstown Region Antique Automobile Club of America. Proceeds benefit both organizations.
This event is part of the museum’s year-long celebration of their 50th anniversary.
IF YOU GO
Here’s what you need to know about this year’s Duryea Day
Admission to the Boyertown Museum of Historic Vehicles is included in admission fee to the park
All eras will be represented, from the brass to the tailfins to the muscle cars, and everything in-between. Hot rods and motorcycles will roar through the park, and a selection of commercial and light duty trucks will also be on display in their own section of the park.
Be sure to visit Duryea Day’s large flea market, which ranges from car parts and literature to homemade crafts to vintage finds. Maybe you’ll even find that car part you’ve been looking for to complete your own vehicle restoration. Or perhaps you’ll run across that perfect piece of auto memorabilia for your rec room. Looking for a classic car to call your own? Then the Car Corral is the place for you. Yes, that’s right — there’s even a place to buy (or sell!) classic cars!
Activities during the day-long festivities include the attention-getting Car Games. Watch drivers try to balance their antique cars on a giant teeterboard. There are great activities available for children, too — how about the popular Trackless Train Ride? Or have your child’s face painted by Felicia’s Face Painting—a new feature at this year’s Duryea Day.
Don’t forget that admission to the Boyertown Museum of Historic Vehicles is included in your admission fee to the park for Duryea Day.
The trolley will be shuttling visitors all day between the park and museum. Demonstrations of the model train exhibit set up in a 1926 Ford Model T truck will be running all day at the museum. Catch the museum’s special food truck exhibit, From Salty Meats to Tasty Treats, before it closes. Also in the museum gallery are some new case displays on such diverse topics as the Boyertown Auto Body Works, tire ashtrays and advertisements, automotive chinaware art, and, since the museum is also celebrating 50 years, a retrospective of the year 1965. Don’t forget the ever-popular 1938 Reading Diner and 1921 Sunoco gas station are also on display at the Boyertown Museum.
Duryea Day would not be complete without good music and good food. Ken Meyle’s Special Delivery is on hand to provide visitors with some great bluegrass and contemporary music. The Joe Soltysik Band will also be in the park playing classics from the 50s and 60s.
And there’s good food offered throughout the day. Moyer’s Catering will be the main food vendor for the day, with breakfast and ice cream provided by the Lion’s Club and the Relay for Life Jay Walkers team. Stewart’s Root Beer and M&N Funnel Cakes will return to the park this year. New this year is Big Chipper’s BBQ.
In celebration of the 50th anniversary, there will be additional award categories for show vehicles. Trophies will be awarded to eight Museum Choice Award recipients: Antique Pre War Car, Antique Post War Car, Antique Motorcycle, Antique Truck — Pickup, Antique Truck — Commercial, Street Machine, Street Rod, and Sports Car. The Beatrice Landis Memorial Award, which honors a vehicle in original condition, also returns this year. And everyone can be a winner by saving a life and giving blood at the Miller-Keystone Blood Center.
Museum admission is $5 for adults, $2 for children. Spectator parking is available at Boyertown Junior High West, 380 South Madison St., Boyertown and at Boyertown Elementary School, 641 East Second St., Boyertown. For more information on Duryea Day, call the Boyertown Museum of Historic Vehicles at 610-367-2090.
Information provided by the Boyertown Museum of Historic Vehicles