MSRA Back to the 50's 2018, In Review
What: Back to the Fifties - The #1 Car Show in the nation!
When: June 22-24, 2018
Hours: Fri & Sat. 8am-10pm, Sun. 6am-3pm
Where: MN State Fairgrounds
Who: Everyone and Anyone
Spectator Tickets: Admission $10/adult in advance, $12 at the gate
Planned By/More Info: MnStreetRodAssoc
Hashtags: #BTT50s #Btt50s (Twitter: MnStreetRodAssoc @msra2018, Facebook @Back.to.the.50s )
The Nation's Largest Car Show
Since 1973, car lovers have been gathering at the MN State Fairgrounds to show off their vintage ride and go back in history. The official vehicle registration for 2017 Back to the 50s was 11,680 and 11,707 this year! If you love old cars, you already know this is a can't miss. Of course your mind will be overwhelmed by all the makes and models... and possibly your nose by all the exhaust.
The cars leave the fairgrounds each night and while some have favorite spots they try to get every year, the cars moving around means it's a different show every day! I've been to BTT50s for years and every year is a little different and I learn some of the ins and outs of making it a wonderful weekend with family and friends.
It's Not Just the Cars & Trucks
There is also a ton of extras being offered that weekend at the State Fair grounds in addition to miles of classic cars. Check out the full schedule on the MSRA website. Here are some additional attractions:
- Live music Friday and Saturday night PLUS the Dixieland Pickup Band during midday
- Vendors (from car parts to sunglasses and of course State Fair food!)
- Classic Car Auction
- Ladies Showcase
- Cruise-N-Art Craft Fair
- Swap Meet
- Blood Drive
- Model Car Contest
- Kids World – Games – Peddle Tractor Pull
Insider Tips for Back to the 50's
Bring your own beverage/water container: You don't want to end up paying $4.00 for a bottle of water or small lemonade and they don't sell liquor.
Bring a blanket or chair: Spectators could walk all day for three days and not see everything so plan for breaks. You can bring a wagon, stroller or just a backpack into the State Fairgrounds so use it to bring supplies for lounging. You might want to walk around all day but many people take a few hours to relax and just watch the cars (and people) go by so bring a folding chair or blanket to sit on the grass. Speaking of long days - plan supplies for a whole day of unpredictable MN weather! If you are planning to be participant (entering with your vintage car) for the first time, call me for the inside scoop!
Parking: Your best shot at finding a free, close spot would be to get there early. Some show participants line up in the middle of the night to get the best spot to display their vehicle and relax in the shade and spectators should also be aware that "the early bird gets the worm" when it comes to parking as well.
Bring cash including small bills: If you didn't buy tickets in advance and come early, you will need to pay at the gate for tickets and possibly parking. Many of the vendors take cards for bigger purchases, but it's usually much faster if you have cash. Some vendors will only take cash - especially at the swap meet - so make sure you don't miss out on a great deal because you don't have cash.
Don't Touch: It's a bit like a museum in an uncontrolled environment but one rule still applies, DON'T TOUCH THE DISPLAY. There are vehicles ranging from $500 to $200,000 here. Don't touch without the owners permission!
Just for fun: Some people dress up in era-specific clothing to really get in the "throwback" mood.
(images courtesy of Sarah Marrinan)