A favorable weather forecast and a new refreshment district have sparked high hopes for the success of today’s annual car show in downtown Defiance.

Hosted and organized by the Maumee Valley Car Club (MVCC), the show will be held on Clinton Street — between Second and Fifth streets — as well as Third and Fourth streets from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., with an awards presentation around 3 or 3:30 p.m., according to club treasurer Christy Feeney.

Last year, thunderstorms rolled through on the morning of the show — held Aug. 25 — and moved out by afternoon, but the rain had a significant impact on the turnout.

Only 66 entries were registered, far below the 190 in 2017.

Bigger things are anticipated this year.

For one thing, today’s weather forecast predicts plenty of sunshine and temperatures in the upper 70s — perfect for owners to display their finely detailed vehicles.

And Defiance now has an outdoor refreshment area (DORA) that allows properly licensed businesses to serve alcoholic beverages in special cups that can be consumed in a designated area in the downtown.

Feeney credits the new DORA district — established earlier this summer following approval by city council — with benefiting the club’s monthly cruise-in on Aug. 2. She said more than 100 vehicles turned out for that, the highest of the four cruise-ins MVCC held this year.

All were held downtown.

“We had 100 cars, and that was huge,” said Feeney. “The DORA, I think, made a difference.”

Coupled with the favorable weather forecast, she expects that the show could have more than 200 entries.

“I’m thinking with this weather you may see over 200,” she said. “I’d love to see 250 cars. That would be awesome.”

Those wishing to enter the show this year must register by noon to qualify for the judging, according to Feeney.

Defiance Development and Visitors Bureau director Kirstie Mack, whose organization helped establish the DORA district, is hoping for big things as well.

“We are very excited the car show has had such success in the downtown over the past few years,” she said. “The DORA district is a great amenity to be able to advertise to all attending the event. It creates another way for events and the downtown businesses to collaborate to bring a great event to the community.”

Although it won’t be entered in the show, at least one new Defiance city police cruiser will be on display, and possibly a second. The city recently purchased three new cruisers — two Dodge Durangos and a Dodge Charger — and outfitted them with new, more reflective striping.

Police Chief Todd Shafer explained that the display will be a good public relations tool for the department.

“A lot of the people don’t get a chance to see what we work in,” he said. “It gives them a lot better opportunity to see the work environment and the technology. ... It’s not like driving a normal family sedan.”

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