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Toppers gear up for 49th annual show

Members of the Fargo-Moorhead Toppers Car Club are placing the finishing touches on their 49th annual show, and organizers say the process couldn't be going more smoothly.

Show chairman Al Duval, a member of the Club since 1973, says he is very pleased. "This is the time of the year we all get pretty excited. Everything we've done is way ahead of schedule and the number of entrants we have received is proving that."

This year's show, set for Saturday, March 31, and Sunday, April 1, promises to be phenomenal, with 125 different vehicles expected to take their own center stage in individual displays. Vendor numbers also rest at the 100 mark, up sizeably from last year, thanks to the allocation of more space for those wishing to promote their products and product lines.

Duval said bringing the show to the Veterans Memorial Arena was an excellent decision. "We have a fantastic association with the Veterans Arena staff and we plan on being here a long time. They are so great to work with, and everyone in West Fargo has been so accommodating."

Last year approximately 10,000 guests from locations scattered throughout the upper Midwest visited the two-day show which this year will run from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday, at the Veterans Memorial Arena, 1201 7th Ave. E., adjacent to West Fargo High School.

A brand new bevy of vehicles will be showcased again this year, covering the gamut from street and hot rods, to muscle cars, to restored originals, and yes, there will be motorcycles and even a monster truck.

The Topper display will show off the 1933 Ford belonging to member Shane Triepke, with the vehicle also duplicated on the show's promotional T-shirts.

Music and trophy presentations will be part of the fun, with music provided by the Front Fenders both days, and the trophy presentation scheduled to take place at 5 p.m. Sunday, with more than $3,000 in trophies and cash prizes to be awarded in categories including best of show, people's choice, best display, etc.

The annual show is coordinated by Topper Car Club members as their major event. A portion of the proceeds is always distributed to a number of charitable causes that are announced after the show. In the past they have included the D.A.R.E. program, Salvation Army, American Red Cross, just to name a few.

The history of the Club goes back to 1953, when the organization was founded by Erlyn Carlson with the intent of promoting a family-based enthusiasm for cars. The Club, now 15 members strong, is looking forward to their 50th anniversary show next year. In preparation they are looking for nostalgic Topper memorabilia anyone might have, spanning any of these years, that could be the focus of a display in next year's show.

Tickets for the 49th annual Toppers Car Show will be available at the door both days of the event. They are also available in advance at all local Stop-N-Go stores through Friday only.

Anyone with questions about this year's show or with memorabilia items for next year's 50th anniversary observance can contact Duval at 238-3834.