Tractors line parade route

Phil Muritz of Smithsburg, Maryland, rides along in his Ford 841 at the Alum Bank Community Fire Company Classic Weekend in Pleasantville on July 16, 2019.

The Alum Bank Community Fire Company has cancelled its annual classic car show this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The 33rd annual ABC Classic Weekend was originally scheduled for July 9 through 12. Jerry Leppert, president of the fire company, said the decision was made to follow Gov. Tom Wolf’s mitigation orders.

“It was a hard decision,” Leppert said. “This is the biggest fundraiser of the year for us. A lot of people are asking why — we’ve got to follow the guidelines.”

In a statement, the fire company said canceling the show was the best course of action.

“This was not an easy decision for us to make, however, due to concerns about social distancing, other health related issues, and uncertainty as to what the status of Bedford County will be with regards to reopening, as well as the current economic conditions in this area, it was decided that this is the best course of action,” the statement said.

“... Without knowing how soon large groups will again be able to gather safely, the Alum Bank Fire Company has decided this would be the safest move to protect our volunteers, vendors, and of course, you, the public,” the statement added.

The annual event includes a firemen’s parade, a large outdoor flea market, carnival rides, tractor pulls, a classic car cruise-in and live music. The festivities have served as a main fundraiser for the fire company.

Organizers said the show requires months of preparations, including securing sponsorships, permits, security, vendors, supplies, advertising and more.

Leppert said bookings and orders for the event would need to be made by now.

“We had to bite the bullet,” he said. “We just don’t know what things will be like in July.”

Brad Harbaugh, a lead organizer with the event, said the company wasn’t happy to make the decision.

“We don’t necessarily agree with everything that is going on, but we have to follow the governor’s guidelines,” he said. “It’s a big regret.”

The car show is set to return next summer over the weekend of July 8 through 11, 2021.

With the cancellation of the event this summer, the fire company intends to hold smaller fundraising events in upcoming months.

A Memorial Day drive-through chicken barbecue has sold out, while another chicken barbecue is scheduled for July 11, beginning at 11 a.m. For information on that event, call the fire hall at 839-2490.

Harbaugh said fireworks are planned to accompany the barbecue in July, noting those also will follow any social distancing guidelines in place at the time.

Contact Will DeShong at wdeshong@bedfordgazette.com; 623-1151, ext. 150.

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