While there have been a number of new developments over the last two weeks, there in unfortunately nothing that gives us a timetable as to when, or if, we can have a car show season in 2020. We've already made our predictions in our last blog post, and nothing has occurred that would prompt us to revisit them. Instead we are going to focus on what we do know, and what we are doing.
Here is what we know: On Friday 5/8/20, Governor Murphy signed an executive order to create the Governors Restart and Recovery Advisory Council. This is the first step in opening the state. It will bring together various leaders from across the state to work with the Restart & Recovery Commission. Please keep in mind that all of the previous executive orders pertaining to social distancing, business closures, and ban on gatherings remain in place "until further notice." Until they are actually lifted, nothing can take place. In addition, the Governor extended the state medical emergency through June 6, 2020. Again, that does not mean the restrictions are lifted on that date.
Here is what we are doing: First, Jersey Shore Car Shows has reached out to Governor Murphy to offer our assistance and guidance in reducing or eliminating the ban on gatherings. With over 33 years attending and running car shows, and one of our advisors (Big Al's father), having over 50 years doing this, we feel we could be a valuable asset in getting things going again safely.
We are also putting contingency plans for the future in place. We don't know the long term affects of this virus on our society. We also don't know if there will be a second wave, or more than that, coming. We also don't know how long this new normal of social distancing and mask wearing will last. We have started a project we call "Firebird Farms Field". This will include clearing the land behind our offices to build an automotive event area. This project is in its infancy, however we have already put a team together to start the clearing withing the next few weeks. The goal is to construct an area capable of holding upwards of 60 vehicles, complete with snack shack, music, stage, and more. At the minimum, we would use it for cruise nights and cars and coffee events, and other special events or fundraisers. IF we wind up being able to fit more vehicles than anticipated, we'll open it up to more. The main reason we are doing this is because we feel that it is possible, due to the current economy, that many places we hold these events may not be able to survive and will close, and the remaining ones might not want to host events . This way, we have something to fall back on. While it is possible the project will be completed this year, that would not be until late summer at the earliest.
We are also trying to plan "Parade Type Events". While this sounds really simple, its not. You have to get approval on three levels. First, the town you want the event in must say OK. Then, they forward the information to the County, which can say yes or no. If the County says Yes, then they must forward the request to the State, which has the final say whether the event can take place or not. It's a good amount of red tape, and takes anywhere from a week to 3 weeks to plan. If you don't do it through the proper channels, the event will be broken up - several have over the past few weeks that we know of. To give you an idea, we've submitted requests for roughly 10 events, 9 of them were denied. One however, was approved. So please save the date, May 30th, 2020 at 5pm in Lacey Township. Details will be posted shortly.
Virtual Shows Are Coming. Burke Automotive in Cape May has one coming up in July (see our web site). They have a great format and I urge you to enter your ride and participate - all proceeds go to Veterans charities. We are working on something as well (it will be pretty cool), in addition to some live-streamed events. Again, we are waiting on the Governor to see what we can and cannot do.
We will be holding off until after May 15th to make any announcements regarding the June dates for Wednesday Night Wheels Cruise Night. As long as its safe and legal to do so, the show will go on. If it's not, it won't. We will take it a month at a time. Remember that Car Hop Kickoff is now Sunday 9/13/20, and Caffeine and Gasoline is still scheduled to begin in November at Pine Belt Cars in Lakewood!
And finally, for now, please do your part. Stay home, practice social distancing when out, wear a mask in public, and please be safe. Support your local businesses and restaurants that are open. BUY LOCAL - it could save a business that has supported our hobby!