IOLA, Wis. (WFRV) – The 2020 Iola Car Show and Swap Meet has been canceled according to the event’s executive director, Joe Opperman.

“After careful deliberation, and with the best information available at this time, the Board of Directors and Iola Car Show Team have made this decision feeling it is the only responsible option,” Opperman said in a release.

Opperman goes on to explain that the team “cannot produce the show without the ability to ensure the safety, confidence, and comfort of all involved – and everyone’s safety is our top priority.  It is also impossible to predict what measures and mandates may be relaxed or removed by the time of the show.”

He adds that the group knows the cancelation imposes a loss for many of the 130 organizations that depend on the Iola Car Show for financial support – including the Iola Old Car Show, Inc. itself.

“Furthermore, we are very aware that many of our swap vendors, who are a cornerstone of the event, have had much of their season of commerce fully disrupted if not destroyed,” the release goes on to say. “It is for that reason that we have now shifted gears from preparing for the 48th Annual Iola Car Show event into preparation for alternative festivities.”

While the Iola Car Show is canceled, event organizers are announcing a new event – the first-ever Rally for Iola.

“Planning for the Rally is under development and will include a drive through the show grounds and street cruise, scheduled for July 11th,” according to Opperman. “Not only is this the scheduled Saturday of the show, it’s also National Collector Car Appreciation Day. This event will allow everyone the opportunity to safely celebrate and enjoy key elements of the historic show, while providing essential support to help preserve the organization through these difficult times.”

At this time, Opperman says that while the traditional Car Show is canceled, the swap meet and flea market features are only postponed. Officials hope that, as the summer progresses, they will be able to select dates that allow swap vendors and shoppers the chance to gather and do business later this summer or fall.

“The beauty and magic of the Iola Car Show is not something provided by one group or segment, but rather by the assembly of many parts,” Opperman adds. “We have second, third and fourth generations of swappers, show car exhibitors, campers and volunteers. Together, we are a powerful engine! I am confident that despite these unprecedented challenges, we will overcome this together. We are asking for your support in whatever ways you can help. WE WILL RALLY!”