t’s the place to be on May 25th.   There will be classic cars, the sound of the oldies, food, and vendors.  .Besides the fun, it supports some good causes.   What’s the event?   The annual Memorial Motor Madness car show sponsored by the Hackettstown Rotary Club. It will be held at MARS Chocolate/North America on  800  High Street in Hackettstown.    Open to spectators from 9am  to  3pm (and for cars starting at 7:30am), the event benefits various local causes including the Joan Knechel Cancer Center.  Spectator admission is at $5 per person age 12 and older, and alcohol and pets are strictly prohibited.

Up to 500 cars can be expected on a good weather day. The car show features entries in 19 different classes that include Mustang, Firebird, Camaro, Antique (pre-1940 to 1970), VW Beetle, Antique Trucks, and Street Rod, among others. Prizes are awarded in each class, with judging by show participants.  Best of Show is chosen by popular vote, with this year’s winner receiving the Ed Hagaman Memorial Trophy, named in honor of one of the show’s founders.   Last year’s 1st Place winner was a 1956 Cadillac Coupe owned by AJ Biancone of Valhalla Kustom  in Sussex County.

Seeing the smiling faces of the M&M characters looking down on cars from their perch on the building adds to the fun and is a reminder of  MARS Chocolate/North America’s commitment to this event and the community.

“We have learned, through our continued partnership with MARS Chocolate/North America  that the company has a commitment to help the community in every way possible to ensure people have good lives and the help they need when they need it. The Joan Knechel Cancer Center is that help, and saves many, many residents from driving hours and miles to other health care facilities when they can receive that quality care right in their community,” said Rotary member Kevin Guyette.


Robert Eberle, owner of Panther Valley Pharmacy and car show chairman, has said that in addition to benefitting the Joan Knechel Cancer Center at Hackettstown Regional Medical Center,  the car show  will also benefit  other local charities supported by the Rotary Club. These include the NORWESCAP Food Bank, The Arc of Warren County, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Camp Merry Heart, DASACC, and more.


Of course, it is Memorial Day weekend, and that will not be forgotten. Popular DJ Doc South will be playing music during the day.  However, as is tradition, the music will stop in the afternoon for a moment of silence as South asks the crowd to remember our veterans and active military.  He will also ask for donations for the purchase of phone cards to be given to service members stationed overseas so they may call home.



Food vendors will be on hand to serve breakfast and lunch items, including breakfast sandwiches, burgers and hot dogs, ice cream, and beverages. Rotary members will also be selling chances for a cash 50/50 prize.


In putting on a show like this, help is needed and Guyette said special thanks should be given to the sponsors who make it possible:  MARS Chocolate/North America, Centenary College, Johnson Dodge, Hackettstown Hyundai, Newton KIA, Route 46 Chevrolet, Smith Motors, WRNJ Radio, and Warren County Community College.


Reflecting on the show, which has been going on for two decades,  Guyette shared what keeps the Rotary going strong with the event:


“Many in the club have been affected directly, or indirectly, by cancer and it becomes more important each year to do what we can to assist Hackettstown Regional Medical Center and the Joan Knechel Cancer Center in providing state of the art treatment to those in our community who are struggling with cancer. Besides, it’s a blast and we have a great time making each year’s car show better than the last,” she said.



For more information, please call 908-509-1828 or visit: www.hackettstownrotary.org

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