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Street Machine Weekend features cars and Concert for a Cause

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Big, beautiful, fast, classic cars take over Lethbridge as the 39th annual Street Machine Weekend rolls into the city, July 7-9.Street Wheelers Club vice chair Alex Dewar is looking forward to Street Machine Weekend. Photo by Richard Amery

 The Street Machine Weekend has been the baby of the Lethbridge Street Wheelers club for the past 39 years, but like most long standing clubs , has undergone a change in leadership.

“There are changes. But we like fresh faces with new ideas to add some additional twists,” said new vice chairman Alex Dewar, who is glad to take the reins of the logistical challenges involved in putting on an event which brings several thousand people to Lethbridge every year.
“We do other events too, but this is our biggest event. It is a lot of work for our 34 to 35 core members,”  said Dewar, who has been part of the Street Wheelers club for four years and has been attending Street machine Weekend for 10 years.
“I enjoy organizing events and I’m good at it, so I do all the logistical work nobody else wants to,” said Dewar, who, surprisingly doesn’t enter a car into the Friday night cruise, the 100 metre dash and autocross at Exhibition park on Saturday, July 8 or even the show and shine at Galt Gardens on Sunday, July 9.

“I have a Volkswagen Golf car and I’m very proud of it, but I don’t enter it. I want to make room for elements people haven’t really seen before,” he said, adding he doesn’t want to take away from the plethora of classic and custom built cars available for the show.

“It’s not easy and it’s not cheap. People involved in it love cars and they love the experience of being able to talk to people who they have never seen before about their cars,” Dewar said, adding Street Wheelers are alway looking for volunteers to help out at the event.

 Street Machine Weekend begins with the Friday night cruise, running from 7-10 p.m. on Friday night.

“We have people lining up at noon to register,” said Dewar, noting not every car gets to participate in the cruise.

“We want to show as much of a variety of different cars as possible. We don’t want to have too many of the same type of car. But the cars have to be show ready. So we also don’t want old stuff that is barely running. So it really is a fine balance. And we don’t want to have newer cars like the new Mustang because you can see them on the show room floor,” he said, noting Ashley Herbers is responsible for choosing which cars make the cut, though if there is a dispute, club members take a vote.
“Originally it was just custom American cars, but we’ve expanded to include Japanese and European models, because everybody has their own tastes and preferences,” he said.
“We get all kinds of cars , trucks and motorcycles,” he said.

The biggest addition to this year‘s Street Machine Weekend is a live concert featuring local country/pop bands Alyssa McQuaid and Coyote Junction  and the Cody Hall band. The beer gardens open at 6 p.m. with proceeds being donated to Youth One The music begins at 8:45.
“It will be taking place after the cruise in Galt Gardens,” Dewar said.


Courtney Atkinson of Atkinson Realty, who is sponsoring the concert is excited to be part of Street Wheelers Weekend.

Alyssa McQuaid is excited to play  the Street Machine Weekend Concert for a Cause, July 7. Photo by Richard Amery
“We‘re stoked to be part of it. It actually started as a conversation last year about  holding a concert for our clients and it expanded. There will be food trucks and live music. It‘s a chance for people to take a break and have a beer and a hot dog and listen to some tunes, ” Atkinson said.
“We were actually going to be bringing a really big act last year, but thought why not have local acts and we can donate more money to Youth One,” he continued.

“We actually have a relationship with Big Brothers and Sisters and Street Wheelers has a relationship with Youth One, so we decided to do it for Youth One to honour Street Wheelers’s willingness to work with us. Youth One is a great organization, so it was an easy choice to make,” he said, adding some of the proceeds from the beer gardens as well as a 50 50 draw and donations from Atkinson and Associated and co-sponsor Clarity Law, will be donated to Youth One, though he doesn’t know how much as expenses need to be covered.
“We‘re stoked to be part of it and people who talk to us about it are jacked about it,“ Atkinson enthused, noting Alyssa McQuaid will likely be performing first.

Alyssa McQuaid noted is excited to play the event, though her entire band won’t be able to play as some of them are away. She will be playing as a trio with bandmates lead guitarist Scott Davidson and bassist Reid Seibert and possibly drummer Chris Morden.
Dewar said Street Machine Weekend is the biggest event in the city.

“The chamber of Commerce voted Street Wheelers as the biggest event in the city, bigger than even the airshow or Canada Day festivities,” Dewar observed.

“We have people coming to Lethbridge from all over Canada and the United States. We‘re anticipating 1,300 cars,” he said, noting all of them compete or cruise.

“The cruise is limited to 830 cars because of City regulations,” he said, adding the Hundred Foot Dash, July 8 at the Rocky Mountain Turf Club, which begins at 10 a.m., July 8, features around 100 cars competing in the timed race.
 The Autocross race at the Lethbridge Exhibition South Lot, Sunday, July 9 at 9 a.m., features a maximum of 75 cars navigating an obstacle course. Admission to most events is free, though there is a $10 charge for the 100 Foot Dash races.
“That is always a lot of fun, because it is more about who is the best driver, because the fastest car doesn’t always win,” Dewar observed.
More information about  Street Machine Weekend is available at
Details of the concert for a cause are available at


A version of this story appears in the July 5,2017 edition of the Lethbridge Sun Times/Shopper

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 05 July 2017 16:19 )  
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