Edit ModuleShow Tags

All Revved Up for North St. Paul Car Show


I have a special place in my heart for the small town of North St. Paul, Minn. It’s not only where I grew up, graduated from high school, and met my best friends, it’s where I first worked as a journalist, and where I met my husband.

For five years I worked as a reporter at Lillie Suburban Newspapers, covering the cities of North St. Paul and Maplewood (oh, how I do not miss those long city council meetings on those hard plastic chairs). I learned a lot about not only journalism, but also how a city is run, the good and bad of local politics, and the kinds of topics that really rile people up (garbage haulers, homeless shelters, new developments, loud cars, giant RVs parked in backyards). I learned that North St. Paulites are proud of their snowman (how many snowmen do you know with their own Facebook page?), their small town festivals, the Gateway Trail, the fact that Bret Hedican is “one of us,” and the Friday Night History Cruze Car Show.

57 Chevy at car showWhen I first started working at the newspaper, located in the heart of downtown North St. Paul, I noticed an odd occurrence. On Friday evenings, a handful of people would park their lawnchairs in the parking spots in front of our building hours before I headed out for the weekend. I soon realized how important it was (to those with classic cars, anyhow) to snag a prime spot on main street for the car show. Once the show officially started (6 p.m.), the street was closed to any traffic that wasn’t part of the car show. Friends, neighbors, families, and car enthusiasts would stroll up and down the line of classic cars, making small talk about that 1912 Studebaker, asking questions about that ’63 Vette, oohing and ahhing over that '57 Chevy, and admiring the details that only a car lover truly appreciates. Kids would chase their friends. Vendors would sell mini donuts and hot dogs, lemonade and slushies. Back-to-the-50s music filled the air.

Since then, the car show has grown from a few hundred cars to—on some nights—over 1,000 cars. There’s still an old-fashioned fair-like atmosphere in the air, probably even more so since the car show has grown, increasing the number and types of vendors. I love that there are people in their 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, even 90s who find the car show sentimental, a reminder of the “good old days” when they drove cars just like these before they were considered classic (1975 and older). And I love that there are people in their 20s, 30s, and 40s who attend because it serves as a sort of reunion with old classmates (I recommend grabbing a beverage at Neumann’s—the oldest bar with the oldest fixtures in the state of Minnesota), they like the family-friendly atmosphere,  or because they appreciate the history and beauty of these rare vehicles (or all of the above).  

If you have never been to the Friday night car show, you should check it out. The car show is up and running every Friday night now, through Sept. 14, from 6 to 10 p.m. along Seventh Avenue, between 1st and Charles streets in downtown North St. Paul.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

About This Blog

Whether you are a seasoned Twin Cities traveler or planning your first trip to Minnesota, this blog will introduce you to many new adventures to add to your itinerary. From day trips and scenic discoveries to luxurious girls weekends, travel tips, and insider scoops, our editors will give you all the information you need to enjoy your stay Up North.

Learn about the contributing writers.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Travel Blog

Memorial Day Activities in the Twin Cities

From historical reenactments to a hip-hop music festival, there's something for everyone this Memorial Day weekend in the Twin Cities.

A Day Trip to Red Wing

Located right on the Mississippi River, Red Wing offers a historic downtown district and spectacular views

It's Farmers Market Season

No matter where you live in Minnesota, fresh produce, flowers and homemade goodies await

Origami in the Garden

The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum's latest exhibit puts the art of folding paper on full display with a garden and metal twist

New Ways to Explore 3 Classic MN Destinations

From Fort Snelling to the North Shore, check out this summer's technological updates to historic and wild Minnesota places

Sue Z.'s Charitable Check-In: May

This month, Sue Z. recommends supporting local student chefs with a dinner at Saint Dinette

What to Wear + Where to Go: Music Festivals

Your style guide for Minnesota music festivals

Mesabi Trail Offers New Views in Northern Minnesota

The Mesabi Trail, a 120-mile paved cycling and hiking trail that spans the Mesabi Iron Range, recently opened a new connection in Virginia, MN that crosses the state's tallest bridge and offers amazing views of former minelands.

Glensheen Mansion Bonfire Nights

Enjoy this summer tradition from one of the most iconic estates in the state

Twin Cities Festival Spring Babies

If April showers bring May flowers, spring babies bring fun for the whole family

Record Store Day: Where to Find Rare Releases in MN

On April 21, rock out at mini-music festivals around the state, dig into gourmet donuts, and collect the rare vinyls available one time a year

Catch the Lyrids Meteor Shower

The meteor shower peaks April 21 and 22, just in time for Earth Day

A Day Trip to Excelsior

Just 20 miles west of the Twin Cities, this waterfront town is complete with charming shops and lakeside dining

Night Art Gallery Is Your Sober Night Out

The Lindstrom art gallery entertains with hors d'oeuvres, tons of art available for purchase, and non-alcholic drinks
Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags