The Chase Hawks Memorial Association acquired the rights to “Burn the Point” from the Downtown Business Association in 2003. A lot of local car enthusiasts, led by Sylvia Gusick, have made this event bigger and better every year since.
The “BURN THE POINT” Story
In the 50’s and 60’s the block between 2nd and 3rd Avenues North and N 29th ST and Broadway was a constant flow of young people and their cars, in both directions, “burning the point”. It was the place to meet and greet. When traffic became too heavy, police walking that beat rolled out the “No Right Turn” signs stored on the corners, and the pattern spread to nine blocks. In subsequent years the lack of places to pull off and the pressures a city exerts when the inevitable few forget how to behave in a crowd sent the kids to the west end and a new place to cruise.
“BURN THE POINT” PARADE
Always Friday night, on Labor Day weekend, the parade brings the streets to life at 6:30 when the first of over 500 cars cross N 27th ST to rumble down 3rd AV N to the delight of as many as 12,000 spectators. We don’t know how to count them, but that was the estimate of last year’s crowd. They fill the streets, parking lots, parking garages and sidewalks. Major Dan Miller and Kurt Anthony from MOJO 92.5 FM announce the cars from the front of ST Francis Upper School and the Babcock Theater, respectively. As they rumble back across N 27th ST Bucky Beaver and the Groundgrippers fire up on Broadway and there is dancing in the streets. This is a holiday worth staying in town for.
If you want to enter the Parade, staging begins at 5 PM. Enter 3rd AV N from N13th ST and join the line; registration folks will come to you. The $10 fee helps cover the insurance and other expenses. Once on the parade route, you do not have to obey the lights as traffic is blocked to the other streets. We know it is horribly tempting, but our permit is dependent upon NO BURNOUTS. Candy cannot be thrown from the cars, and no signs are allowed on vehicles. The entries are limited to cars and light trucks, only.
“BURN THE POINT” CLASSIC CAR SHOW
Saturday at 10 the show opens to several thousand folks who pour over the classic cars on display at the MetraPark Carnival Lot. For only $2 ($1 If you bring a PEPSI can) you can take your time looking these beauties over. Almost 300 strong, there’s a lot to look at. A variety of vendors offer food and beverages on what is always a sunny summer day. Over a hundred trophies are given, and the judges are the sponsors of the trophies; can’t be more fair than that. A lot full of cars, music, good food and drink…how do you beat a day like that for 2 bucks? While you are here, there is also a swap-meet and a car corral going on. Call 591-3301 for more information.
New this year, the MONTANA CLASSIC CAR COLLECTOR AUCTION was held in conjunction with “Burn the Point” in the Expo Center. It was a rousing success, with over a 100 cars consigned for sale. If you are a car enthusiast, Billings is the place to be on Labor Day Weekend.
Cars entering the Car Show enter from 8 AM at the 4th AV MetraPark gate and will be registered as they are staged. The Show is still only $15 to enter. Awards and trophies are announced at 3 PM. When parking fills to the upper lot, shuttle service will be provided.