Classic car enthusiasts have something to look forward to this Saturday.
The Lodi Elks Lodge No. 1900 is bringing some long-awaited normalcy to pandemic Lodi with an outdoor event for all ages: the Elks Car Show.
Guests will have the chance to roam among the 70 classic cars entered in the show, as well as see two of the specialized vehicles used by the California Highway Patrol.
The Elks Car Show isn’t a new event, though it’s been several years since the last one was held, according to Randy Branco, who led the organization of the show.
“We’re trying to do more outside events right now because of (COVID-19),” he said.
The Lodi Elks Lodge, like its fellow lodges around the country, raises funds each year for the Elks National Foundation. Lodi also raises funds for the California-Hawaii Elks Association’s charity fund, which supports children born with disabilities that require physical therapy or surgery.
“When we have an event, we designate one of our raffles or some of our proceeds from the entire event to one of those charities,” Branco said.
But during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Lodi Lodge has had to cancel several of its usual fundraiser events. The last one was their St. Patrick’s Day Dinner on March 14.
That means not only less money for the club to donate to those charities, but also less funding to keep their lodge open.
So they began brainstorming an event that they could hold that wouldn’t violate the state’s orders to keep people safe from COVID-19. A car show seemed ideal, Branco said.
The Elks Car Show will be outdoors, of course, and guests will circulate among the cars instead of gathering in groups. The club will also have steps in place to follow guidelines from the state and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including requiring guests to wear masks and having hand sanitizer at booths and around the event.
The lodge has about three acres of land for the cars to spread out, Branco said.
There will be no entry or exit for vehicles at the event; spectators will need to park down the street and walk over to the south gate on Mokelumne Street.
However, there will be a DJ — Lodge member Dennis Schimke — T-shirts for sale, two raffles and a 50-50 drawing. Proceeds from the raffles will support the Elks National Foundation and the California-Hawaii Elks Association, with other proceeds supporting the lodge.
There will also be food options for sale, including coffee and donuts in the morning, lunches with a hot dog or bratwurst, beans and salad, and ice cream in the afternoon.
The Lodi Lodge is looking forward to a day of fun, and hopes the community will come out to see the classic cars, Branco said.