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Bemidji Car Show canceled for 2018

Cars lined up at the 2017 Bemidji Car Show at the Sanford Center parking lot. (Pioneer file photo)

BEMIDJI—For the first time in 35 years, there won't be a Bemidji Car Show, but automotive enthusiasts can expect the event to return in 2019.

The event, which had been scheduled for this Sunday, July 15, was canceled by Sanford Center management because of a lack of sponsors. The longtime community event was originally launched by the Paul Bunyan Vintage Auto Club, but the group transferred responsibilities to the

Sanford Center in 2016, when it was relocated to the facility's parking lot.

Sanford Center Events Manager Shawna Weidemann said involvement from the club waned in recent years and finding sponsors become more difficult.

"So, we didn't want to just throw together a half-hearted event," she said. "We decided to take a break with it this year, and next year bring it back bigger and better."

In recent years at the Sanford Center, the Car Show averaged about 2,000 spectators and roughly 150 vehicles were brought in for display. Before the Sanford Center, the Bemidji Car Show had been located at the Bemidji High School, the old fairgrounds (now the site of Target), the Neilson Reise ballpark and the new Beltrami County Fairgrounds. Often the event was held around the same time as the annual Art in the Park event.

For more information from the Sanford Center, call (218) 4441-4000 or visit