Although the official economic impact has yet to be quantified, Vance County Tourism Development Authority Executive Director Pam Hester has plenty of anecdotal evidence to show that last weekend’s Show, Shine, Shag and Dine was a great success.
“The car show (was) fabulous,” Hester told WIZS News. She estimated that between 350 and 400 cars rolled into town to participate in the 19th annual event. Given the concern for COVID-19, plus the fact that there was a good chance of rain, she said she was pleased with the turnout.
This year should have been the 20th anniversary celebration, but COVID-19 put the brakes on last year’s event. Hester said she and her team of volunteers are already making plans to mark the anniversary in special ways for next year.
Attendance was slightly down, but she cited COVID-19 as a factor in that. Hester didn’t have an official estimate, and “it’s so hard to tell when it’s that many people” milling about downtown, she noted.
Hotels seemed to be pretty well booked on Saturday night, and she predicted that was the case for Friday as well. She fielded calls from New York, Pennsylvania, Florida, Tennessee, Georgia, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia and Massachusetts and said that many cars were trailered in. “There were a lot of cars and people that I haven’t seen – lots of new places and new faces,” she said.
She noted that there were fewer vendors and food trucks, but she attributed that to COVID, too. “It’s hard to find help to run (main restaurants and food trucks), and that’s what the vendors were running into,” she said. The food vendors that were there, however, provided delicious food. “One guy sold out of everything he had on his truck,” she added.
A meeting is scheduled for next week to debrief the team of volunteers about what went well and what can be improved upon for next year, when the event turns 20.