Vickie Frazier, secretary of the Tennessee Artist’s Guild recently revived in Watertown, originally brought the event to the council in February with a request to hold the Rockabilly Car Show on June 16.
“We’re working with the Goodwill Cruisers Car Club in Lebanon, and it’s already got a lot of momentum,” said Frazier in February. “They’re expecting about 200 cars to show, and we’re not sure how many people will come on top of that.”
Frazier asked the council if her organization could use city property near the city pavilion for parking during the event. A debate sparked on whether the square should be closed for the event.
Frazier requested the square be closed for the event for the live band scheduled to be there. Watertown Mayor Mike Jennings and the council members were concerned business owners on the square wouldn’t be happy about shutting the area down for a day.
“I want to accommodate, as much as possible, all the people that we can,” said Jennings. “That may not be possible.”
Jennings asked Frazier to come back to the March meeting with a mapped-out plan for the event so they could better make a decision regarding what would be best for the city, as well as the event.
On Tuesday, Frazier returned with a map in hand and a proposed plan how to handle visitor parking, along with the 200 show cars involved. She said a stage was also planned for the gazebo at the square where bands would play.
“We just think it will be a good event for the community and bring a lot of people to Watertown,” Frazier said.
The council expressed concerns about safety and visitor parking during the car show.
“I’m all for the event, but it needs to be very well planned, or it will be a mess,” said Alderman Brandon Howard.
Howard and other aldermen referred to the Mile-Long Yard Sale held bi-annually throughout the city as an example of a well-run event. The next Mile-Long Yard Sale will be April 21.
“Tourism dollars come with fewer strings,” said Alderman Katie Smith. “Someone is willing to do a lot of work to bring people to Watertown. I think there’s a lot of value in that.”
Frazier said she was willing to set up the car show in the same manner as the yard sale, and any money owed to the city from the use of police officers and others for crowd and traffic control would be paid out of proceeds from the show.
“We’re going to have to try this one and see how it goes,” Mayor Mike Jennings said. “It may be the best event we’ve had yet.”
The council approved the car show unanimously.
The Rockabilly Car Show will be June 16 with registration at 8 a.m. until noon and awards at 3 p.m. at the Watertown Square. For more information, call the GoodWheel Cruisers Car Club at 615-604-3554 or the Tennessee Artist’s Guild at 615-697-5066.