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

Green Thumb Gardens

The 2018 Hennepin County Master Gardener Learning Garden Tour flaunts its foliage July 14

Best Caves of Minnesota

Explore Minnesota’s man-made and natural curiosities this summer

Amble Over to Afton

While you’re in Afton for Selma’s, stay a while and check out the state parks, historic buildings, quaint downtown, and more

Take a Trip for (Frozen) Treats

Grab a scoop from the state’s oldest ice cream shop in Afton: Selma’s Ice Cream Parlour

Journeys: A Minnesotan’s Happy Place

Time wasted at the lake is time well spent

Journeys: The Start of Adventure

To prep for wilderness canoe trips, Les Voyageurs brings campers out on the Mississippi River

Top 5 Instagram Spots Along the Mississippi River

Bluffs, hiking trails, and waterfalls make for beautiful summer photos

Summer Sunburn Solutions

Six ways to beat the burn

Brews and Views at the Hopped Up Caribou Festival

There's no better place to tie the knot than at a craft beer festival, and if you're not into that, you can cliff climb, too

A Day Trip to Hudson

St. Croix River views, hiking trails at Willow River State Park, and quaint downtown eats await in Hudson

Stone Arch Bridge, Saved for the Summer

We don't have to worry about our favorite bridge anymore—at least for the summer

The Best of Chisago Lakes

Something to do, eat, and see in the five small towns that make up one big community

What to Do for Twin Cities Pride, June 22-24

Mark your calendars for the best events of Twin Cities Pride

First Look: Lora Hotel Opens in Stillwater

Stillwater gets an update with a boutique hotel offering river and downtown views
Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags