New historical marker in Iola
Marker honors Iola Car Show
The Iola Historical Society unveiled its newest historical marker Aug. 27 in Iola.
The marker is located at 350 Chrome Place in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Iola Car Show.
The marker tells the story of the precursor “test run” event hosted at Iola’s Ingval Olson Memorial Park on Aug. 27, 1972.
The occasion was an Iola Lions Club pork roast, with Chet Krause extending the offer of “two free tickets” for plated servings to collectors arriving behind the wheel of their favorite vintage car. That invitation had been extended by letter to roughly 50 area collectors, resulting in about a 22-car turnout.
In July 1976, having outgrown the original village park location, the show moved to the present Iola Car Show grounds, where there were 550 show cars, 100 vendor stalls and an estimated 10,000 attendees.
The event, which has grown by leaps and bounds, has been known as the Iola Car Show since 2016.
Over its half-century existence, profit distributions to the organizations total over $9 million, benefitting the community-directed projects of their choice. Annual payouts typically fall into the $210,000 to $225,000 range.
Community members and visitors are encouraged to visit the marker to learn even more about the event that put Iola on the map.