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Touch of class at Bonanzaville

Billed as one of the North Dakota's earliest and largest swap meets of its kind, The Fargo Red River Valley Regional Group of the Horseless Carriage Club of America is preparing for its 38th annual Art Olson Swap Meet and Car Show on Sunday, May 15, at Bonanzaville, located adjacent to the Red River Valley Fairgrounds in West Fargo.

The activity is named after the late Art Olson, a Detroit Lakes auto collector who was one of the original charter members of the local HCCA regional group.

Throughout its tenure, the focus of the event has remained pretty much the same - to give hobbyists an opportunity to buy, sell or trade collector cars and parts, and also display hobby cars for those attending to view and enjoy.

Car Club President Joe Hesse said this year's show will once again deliver diversity, offering something for all classic car enthusiasts in varying makes and models, some repeats and others totally brand new to the Art Olson event.

With the show scheduled for one day only and the vehicles parked outside for display, weather plays a huge role in attendance, so organizers are hoping for sunny skies and warm temperatures. "The weather makes a huge difference," Hesse said.

The Swap Meet portion of the event is a show in itself, featuring a little bit of everything from high performance parts, to tools and equipment, to several project cars and toys.

Last year, the group also decided to promote craft and collectible vendors, in efforts to make the show a little more family-friendly enticing women and children, in addition to the men who in the past have been the most avid attenders.

Hesse, who has been a member of the Club for 12 years, will also be participating in the actual show by bringing in a couple of his own cars for display, his prize 1916 Dodge Brothers Touring Car, and a 1939 Pontiac.

Once again, the car show will line the entire Main Street area, from the entry of Bonanzaville all the way down to St. John Lutheran Church and around the corner.

The Swap Meet items will be featured on all other secondary streets with some of the vendors inside Dawson Hall, also the site for the lunch counter. The collectible items, toys and paper literature will also be located inside.

Showtime for the event is 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., with trophies to be awarded in ten classes starting at 3 p.m.

The local group hosting this event is affiliated with the national Horseless Carriage Club of America. The local roster is presently 35 members strong and always looking for new recruits. Members emphasize the Club is family focused, with as many women active in the organization as men. The group meets every month at varying locations that are announced.

The admission charge is $5 for adults with children 12 and under admitted free when accompanied by an adult.

Anyone seeking information about membership in the club or the Art Olson show itself can contact Hesse at 701-238-4992 or Club member Rod Hanggi at 701-388-1572.