By ROBERT PIERCE
• Leader & Times
Many car shows take place throughout the year in Southwest Kansas and the Oklahoma Panhandle, and since 2008, Bill Hill has hosted the Yellow Brick Road Car Show in north Liberal.
The show normally takes place in the parking lot just north of 11th Street on Kansas Avenue, but Hill said this year’s show will be bigger than usual. For this reason, he has moved the show across the street to Light Park, Liberal’s largest park.
This year’s show will take place May 9 and 10, and new for this year, the car show will feature a craft fair. Hill said 50 vendors have already signed up for that part of the show. He also has auto parts businesses coming to Liberal with anything from harnesses to car wax and more.
“McGuire’s has jumped in, and they’re going to come down and have a booth down here,” he said. “There’s a young kid that used to live in Liberal. He works in Wichita now. He invented some wax that’s called Killer Wax of Kansas. He’s going to have a booth here. Royal Purple, the automobile synthetic oil, is going to be here. Also we’re going to have a food court over there.”
This year’s Yellow Brick Road Car Show will also be tied in with Deuce Days, where Deuce car clubs from across America get together for a reunion. Hill said that happens every five years in many towns in the U.S., with Liberal playing host this year.
“We’ve been working on it for two and a half years,” he said. “We got very, very lucky that these guys picked Liberal, Kansas. Usually, they go with a big show like Good Guys in Louisville or Knoxville, Tenn., Des Moines, Iowa.”
Hill said the initial edition of the car show in 2008 drew about 112 registered cars, but more cars than that were actually seen at the show.
“The guys that help me and my cars, we don’t really put them in the show,” he said. “We bring them, and we show them, but they’re not included in the show.”
Since then, Hill said the Yellow Brick Road Car Show has grown steadily.
“On the second year, we were about 230, and the third year, it was at 318,” he said. “Last year, we were at 289. We’re in between the 250 and 300 range on cars. We usually have about 10 motorcycles or so show up. Pickups are shown too. We had a guy bring a wooden boat. If they got them, they can come show them.”
Every installment of the car show has a theme. This year’s is Deuce Days at the Yellow Brick Road Car Show. Hill said having a theme is what makes his show different from others in the area, as well as the time put in on making it happen.
“We just don’t work on it for three months ahead of time and show it,” he said. “It’s a full-time deal. Other people work most of time on theirs, but it’s almost a full-time job getting this done.”
Hill said over the years, he has seen a wide variety of models at the car show.
“The oldest car we’ve had our show, I believe it’s a 1920 Boat Tail,” he said. “When the new version of the Camaros came out, I got mine early. Mine was the first SS Camaro in the state of Kansas, and we displayed it at our car show. We had guys who had the brand new version of the Corvette a couple of years ago. It’s just a passion for cars.”
Hill said another uniqueness of the Yellow Brick Road Car Show is that many of the vehicles seen at the show cannot be seen at other shows.
“A lot of times, they just can’t see that stuff,” he said. “I don’t know what it is. They’re not where the car shows are.”
Hill added that visitors to this car show can take part in everything it has to offer absolutely free.
“It’s done by donated money and hard work by people helping us,” he said. “It’s free to the public. The band concert we have Friday night is free to the public.”
Hill said what makes his show unique simply boils down “the way we do stuff.”
“This year, I think we’ve already got entries from 14 different states from Palm Springs, Calif., all the way to Illinois,” he said. “We’re talking to guy out of Louisiana. It’s kind of broadened out.”
A free outdoor concert featuring Tonemeister out of Hays will take place the evening of May 9.
“They play a lot of brass instruments like what was coming out in the ’50s and ’60s,” Hill said. “That’s the reason that I picked them this year.”
Vehicle pre-registration for $20 takes place from 3 to 7 p.m. May 9 at Billy’s Blue Duck BBQ. Later, car show participants will get a driving tour of Liberal attractions, along with some barbecue from Billy’s.
Saturday registration for $25 takes place from 8 to 11 a.m. May 10. NSRA inspections will take place from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. The award ceremony will be from 3 to 4 p.m. There will be 10 $100 drawings and $1,000 total given out throughout the day, along with a 50/50 pot.
Proceeds from the Yellow Brick Road Car Show will benefit local charities. Hill said he just wants everyone to come and have fun at the show.
“It’s free to the public,” he said. “Come and have fun. Enjoy the whole show. It’s a lot of fun. I just think it’s going to be great that we have the craft fair with it, the food court. It’s in the park where there’s stuff for the kids to play on. We do have a nice park. Thanks to the city for letting us use the park over there. We’ll see how it goes in the park.”
For more information, call Hill at 620-629-7505, or e-mail