Organizers: Attendance down at 33rd Polo Car Show; event still successful

Jon Heath, of Polo, looks at a 1958 Buick Limited owned by Bill Kubik, of Woodridge, during the 33rd annual Polo Car Show on Aug. 13.

POLO — Despite some inclement morning weather, event organizers said the 33rd annual Polo Car Show went well.

“It cleared up for us, but not quite in time,” said Tammy Merdian, head event organizer and member of the Polo Chamber of Commerce. “We still had a good showing. I think we had 72 cars. Everybody was real troopers hanging in. I really appreciate that.”

The car show ran from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Aug. 13. Vehicle entries took up both sides of two blocks of East Mason Street in downtown Polo.

Usually, entries take up three blocks, but the weather kept some away, Polo Mayor Doug Knapp said.

“People with meticulous cars just don’t want to take them out in the rain,” he noted.

It rained on-and-off from about 10 a.m. to noon, Knapp said. There never was a torrential downpour, though, he said.

The weather didn’t keep entrant Mark Heckman, of Dixon, away — although his wife, Sandy Heckman, was another story. Still, their entry — a red 1966 Chevrolet Nova that won Best of Show — was a “joint effort,” he said.

Heckman said he has been coming to the Polo Car Show for years because he lives nearby and wants to support Polo.

“They always do a nice job because of the way they judge the show,” he said. “They have judges come in and they’ve been doing that for a good number of years and I like judged shows.”

Knapp, Merdian and Heckman all said they look forward to the 2023 show.

“Next year, hopefully it’ll be better weather and successful like usual,” Knapp said. Merdian echoed his comments.

This year wasn’t Heckman’s first win, and with plans to enter the show again it might not be his last.

“I might bring my truck back,” he said. “I’ve got several cars that I show, so I’ll probably do something different next year.”

The Polo Chamber of Commerce’s 50-50 raffle pot also pointed to lower attendance, Knapp said. Usually, the pot is around $1,000, but this year it was $450.

Charlie Taber, of Galt, was the winner.

Alexa Zoellner

Alexa Zoellner

Alexa Zoellner covers Ogle County for the Oregon Republican Reporter, Forreston Journal, Mt. Morris Times and Polo Tri-County Press. She has six-plus years of experience in journalism and has won numerous awards.