Annual classic car show returns to downtown Wilmington Friday

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One of NC spirits company Call Family Distillerys classic runner vehicles, like this 1939 hot rod, will be on display during the 2016 Rims On The River. Courtesy photo.
One of NC spirits company Call Family Distillers’ classic runner vehicles, like this 1939 hot rod, will be on display during the 2016 Rims On The River. Courtesy photo.

Classic car enthusiasts from across the region will be rolling into downtown Wilmington next weekend.

The annual Rims On The River returns May 20-22 with live entertainment and, of course, a showcase of shiny restored vehicles of the vintage and antique variety.

Downtown venues will host pre-event parties Friday night to help kick the show into high gear. Then, on Saturday, hundreds of vehicles will line Front Street between Orange and Red Cross between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. Last year, approximately 700 were on display, and organizers say they’re expecting even more this time around.

An awards presentation will be held at about 4 p.m. Saturday at Bailey Theater Park, 18 N. Front St., across from Front Street Brewery.

Saturday night, gritty east coast rockers American Speedway take the stage at Ziggy’s By The Sea for a free show featuring Slippery Jake and The Bad Brakes and The Dew Drops. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show gets underway at 8.

A Rims tradition, the show wraps up with the annual cruise around town, which departs at noon Sunday from the parking lot of Cape Fear Community College’s Schwartz Center. The ride will end at Satellite Bar and Lounge, 120 Greenfield St., for some celebrating before the event officially comes to a close.

This year’s event shines a spotlight on the role speedy drivers played in the transport of alcohol during prohibition, thanks to one of the sponsors, Call Family Distillers. Located in Wilkes County, NC—which boasts it is the “moonshine capital of the world”—the company specializes in the ‘shine, as well as brandy and whisky and has a history that runs as deep as the days of those illegal liquor runs. Call Family is also bringing one of its vehicles to the show.

For more information on pre-event party venues and a full schedule, visit Rims On The River’s website.