Lovers of guns and vintage cars should have a busy weekend ahead of them in Red Deer.
The 50th Central Alberta Vintage Auto Club Swap Meet – featuring a special outdoor show and shine – and the 12th Red Deer Gun Show are both this weekend at Westerner Park.
The swap meet is a great event to find rare auto parts, said event co-ordinator Sarah Creighton.
“Those original parts are getting harder and harder to find, so people are getting creative with creating and restoring cars,” Creighton said.
“It’s a really cool event, because lots of car guys swap stories and tips with each other. Sometimes, you’ll have parts on your table and you aren’t sure what they are and someone can help you find out.”
The first swap meet was held in a church basement in 1969, and this year’s event will fill the three pavilion buildings at Westerner Park.
“It’s pretty special because … it’s grown quite a lot,” she said.
“I’ve been with the club officially for about four years, but unofficially, since I was in diapers – my dad’s a member, my grandparents are members.”
There are several vintage car clubs in Red Deer, said Creighton.
“They all kind of get together for this swap meet,” she said, adding she expects to see roughly 10,000 people come to the two-day event, which features about 300 stalls.
Red Deer Gun Show manager Harold Drok said his event will have plenty to see.
“The building will be full of firearms, pistols, ammunition … collectibles, memorabilia. You name it, and it’ll be there,” said Drok.
The gun show started in Westerner Park’s Harvest Centre and has been in the Agricentre for the past few years. This year, it will be held in the new Exhibition Hall.
“We are going from 295 tables in 2018 to 413 tables in 2019. We’ve been hustling, we’ve been doing some promoting on Google and have gone to different gun shows passing out brochures and talking to people,” said Drok.
There will be vendors from Ontario to British Columbia at the event.
“Gun collectors have the same mentality as the car collector, or a person who collects Tupperware. They’re a fun bunch,” he said.
Drok said there were 2,400 attendees last year – he hopes to see 3,000 to 3,500 this year.
The swap meet runs Friday from 3 to 8 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The show and shine is Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The Red Deer Gun Show runs Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
For more information, visit www.westernerpark.ca/events.