ST. GEORGE — Hundreds of vintage cars were showcased at Brio in Washington City for the 6th annual “First Responders Appreciation Car Show” held Saturday to pay tribute to the those who are first to arrive when tragedy strikes.
Brio provided the venue Saturday where 240 classic beauties were on display. Along with cars, there were also vendors, concessions, food and music by JC Hackett, for the hundreds of guests and participants. The weather was perfect for the show – and for the many vintage owners that wait for perfect weather to shine up their cars.
The festivities were organized by Darren Nuttall of Desert Sports Management, who said they had record-breaking crowds: between 3,600-5,400 guests in total, according to preliminary estimates.
There were added attractions this year as well, with a special focus on the younger attendees, such as a variety of bounce houses, games, a coloring station and even a mining attraction where children could mine for their own stones and gems by using a pan to remove the sand in a mock slue.
In addition to the crowds, the number of entries was higher as well, with entries from multiple states, including California, Washington, Oregon, Wyoming, Nevada, Idaho, Arizona and even Texas, Nuttall said, adding that the drop in the number of events this year due to COVID restrictions was likely the reason for the jump in the number of out-of-state entries and the distance many car owners traveled to showcase their classics.
The annual car show garners a great deal of support from law enforcement throughout Washington County, Nuttall said, but the National Guard’s Paladin artillery piece, a tank-like vehicle that is the most prolific self-propelled howitzer outside the Soviet Union, was noticeably absent, since current military restrictions in the wake of COVID prevented any military participation this year.
Even so, numerous state and local agencies were on hand to mingle with the crowds. Police and fire vehicles lined the streets adjacent to the venue, and officers, troopers and firefighters gave tours of their patrol units and fire trucks, as well as candy to the younger car show enthusiasts.
The event also served as a way to support a program that can mean the difference between life and death for children or adults with cognitive conditions such as Alzheimer’s, autism, dementia or Down syndrome that compel them to wander off.
The program is called Project Lifesaver, and it has been proven to be the most effective search and rescue program.
For more than 20 years, Project Lifesaver International has been demonstrating the value of locating devices being utilized throughout the special needs communities.
The program uses a tracking system designed for at-risk populations by reducing the time, funds and manpower needed to locate an individual. The average recovery time is less than 30 minutes.
Every police agency in Washington County, as well as more than 1,200 law enforcement departments nationwide use the system.
Agencies that participated in Saturday’s carnival and car show included police officers from Washington City, St. George, the Utah Highway Patrol and the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, as well as firefighters from the Washington City Fire Department and Gold Cross Ambulance.
This year, the Colorado City Marshal’ Office made its debut at the show, bringing patrol units and even the department’s HUMV that was showcased during the festivities.
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