Annual Car Show Returns in New Location, Pays Tribute to Local Drivers

Smalley-Moen Memorial Car Show brings hundreds of car lovers to Buffalo House

MIDWAY TOWNSHIP, Minn. – Every year, a memorial car show honors a local car racing legend.

Kyle Smalley is usually celebrated at Spirit Valley Days, an event he helped organize. That gathering is canceled this year, so friends, family, and car lovers came together outside the Buffalo House restaurant and bar to honor Smalley’s life.

Car people love talking about their cars.

“This car is a 1914 Model T Ford,” explained Greg Scholz of Proctor. “One of the early Fords that came off of the assembly line process that Ford pioneered for automobiles.”

“1963 Galaxy XL with a 390,” described Duluth driver Joe Hoole. “It’s all-original.”

Summers are usually filled with gatherings like this but, because of event cancellations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this is the first show of the season for many drivers and fanatics.

“These cars are meant to be driven and they’re met to be showed and it’s a lot of fun and as long as you keep your distance and keep your head about you, you’re okay,” said Hoole.

These classic automobiles are always fun to look at, but the hobby means more for owners when they can share their rides with other aficionados.

“Everywhere you drive is a parade and everywhere you park is a car show. It doesn’t matter if it’s really a car show or really a parade, people are going to come up and be interested,” said Scholz.

This particular show is an annual tribute to Kyle Smalley who passed away in 2015.

“My dad was a car junkie,” said Smalley’s daughter Carmen Smalley. “That was kind of his passion and soul.”

Smalley’s family organized the event to bring together people who share Kyle’s spirit.

“Kyle Smalley was a good friend and you can see the people around and how much he meant to all these people,” said Hoole.

This year, the event’s name was changed to the Smalley-Moen Memorial Car Show to also remember Smalley’s friend, Jerry Moen, who recently lost his battle with cancer.

“Jerry and my dad were so close and so it just seemed natural to honor them together,” explained Carmen Smalley.

Despite hundreds of people walking the Buffalo House grounds, organizers believe the event was still safe to attend during these uncertain times.

“A car show is a limited contact event as it is so we really felt like, with an outdoor event, with the space that we have, that we could still put on the opportunity for people to come,” said Carmen Smalley.

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