Wheels on Academy is back in its old parking space! With the completion of the streetscape project and the Downtown Park, the car show returns to South Academy Street in downtown Cary for the sixth annual event on May 20 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Amazing cars of yesteryear will be on display to gaze at and reminisce about while judges determine which ones take home the coveted “Mayor’s Award” and “Top 50” trophies. This year’s event will feature the largest “Touch-A-Truck” area with over 10 different vehicles, a “Take-A-Part” Model T demonstration, concessions, and live music by the bands 8-Track Minds and Runyons Funyons in Downtown Park. Plus, for families, the annual Hagerty Youth Judging Program returns as well as a kids’ area featuring a color-your-own-car area, games, and for the first time, a LEGO activity space.
“Wheels on Academy is happy to be home! The annual car show is an exciting, can’t-miss, family-friendly event that allows car owners to show off their classic cars while car enthusiasts enjoy the amenities of downtown Cary at one of the first events to feature the new Downtown Park. The show provides citizens another reason to visit downtown and experience its evolving character,” said Ryan O’Quinn, program specialist for outdoor arts events.
The Town will accept advance registrations from those wishing to participate; the cost is $10 until May 12. On show day, registrations will be accepted from 7-9 a.m. for $15 per entry. If you are part of a car club and would like to park together, all members must be pre-registered and arrive to the event at the same time. All participants will receive a t-shirt, hat and name tag. Spots are limited, so sign up in advance by emailing ryan.o’firstname.lastname@example.org.
Judging for Wheels on Academy trophies will be done throughout the day, with an awards ceremony at approximately 1:30 p.m. Cary Town Council members Don Frantz, Jack Smith, Jennifer Robinson and Ken George will be attending, with council member Frantz doling out the “Mayor’s Award” and giving remarks. The Hagerty Youth Judging Program is for kids 15 and younger who will get a chance to judge six pre-selected cars and determine which one will receive the Youth Judge Award. At each car, the owners will talk about it and the children can ask questions.
Other kids’ activities include the Play-Well TEKnologies Gravity Car Challenge using LEGO bricks. Tens of thousands of LEGO parts will be available to design and create their own vehicle with the help of an instructor; kids can then race their creations down a ramp. The children’s crafts area will also allow kids to make wooden cars and race them and test their memory with a life-size car memory game.
“Touch-A-Truck,” sponsored by the Goddard School, is a fun, interactive, family-friendly event that allows people to see, touch and safely explore trucks and heavy machinery, as well as meet the personnel who protect and serve the Cary community. The “Touch-A-Truck” area will have games, crafts, and live entertainment. There will also be a “No Horn Hour” from 10 to 11 a.m. for guests with sensitive hearing. The “Take-A-Part” Model T Demonstration will be located at Park Street with two shows at 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. The Antique Automobile Club of America’s Triangle chapter will assemble their Model T, hand crank the car and drive it a short distance.
Oak City Fish and Chips, Porchetta, Qspresso, and Fresh Local Ice Cream will be on site to sell concessions. Runyons Funyons will perform from 9:15 to 11 a.m., followed by 8-Track Minds from 11:30 a.m. to 1:15 p.m.
South Academy Street will be closed from 5 a.m. until approximately 3:30 p.m. for the event. Motorists looking for alternative routes will be able to use Chatham Street and Dry Avenue. Citizens coming to Wheels on Academy should consider parking in the public parking deck on Town Hall Campus (intersections of Wilkinson Avenue and Ambassador Loop). Accessible parking is located on N. Academy Street across from the Cary Train Depot at the Depot’s overflow parking lot.
Wheels on Academy is held rain or shine, but in the event of inclement weather, please go to the Town’s Weather Status Page, www.townofcary.org/rainout. For more information, search “Wheels on Academy” at www.townofcary.org or call (919) 469-4061. And for more fun in downtown Cary, follow the Town on Twitter @TOC_Fun and @TOC_Downtown, and view our calendar at www.townofcary.org/calendar.