Meadowbrook Car Show wins approval for April date with ‘good plan’ against COVID-19

A red car sits in front of The Inn at Meadowbrook

Prairie Village's approval of the Kansas City Automotive Museum's Meadowbrook Car Show on April 10 — with several COVID-19 mitigation efforts — will bring 100 cars to Meadowbrook Parkway for the public's free viewing. Above, a red car is parked in front of The Inn at Meadowbrook in summer 2020 during a non-KC Automotive Museum event. Photo credit Stephen Cook.

The Prairie Village City Council has approved a special-use permit for a car show at Meadowbrook Park sponsored by Olathe’s Kansas City Automotive Museum.

The event is scheduled for Saturday, April 10.

Meadowbrook Parkway and Rosewood Drive stop sign
Cars will line up along Meadowbrook Parkway (above) during the April 10 car show.

According to organizers, the Meadowbrook Car Show will feature 100 unique, collector cars lined up along Meadowbrook Parkway from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. that day, along other attractions , including food trucks, a musical performance by School of Rock and a scavenger hunt.

The event is a fundraising event for both the museum and the parks and recreation foundation of Johnson County public art program, said Jan Huckleberry, the museum’s development director.

Huckleberry said the prominence of the 80-acre park at 91st Street and Nall Avenue is part of the reason the museum wanted to host the event at Meadowbrook.

The Kansas City Automotive Museum held a larger car show at the World War I Museum and Memorial in Kansas City, Mo., last summer.

“The park itself allows us to host this entertainment in a safe and outdoor setting,” Huckleberry said. “We are very aware and respectful of the fact that health and safety is the number one priority when planning an event of this nature. We are going to take all the necessary steps that are required to provide a healthy and safe environment for participants and visitors to the park.”

Safety protocols in place

Huckleberry said the museum is estimating anywhere between 2,000 and 3,000 visitors, which is a normal attendance figure for Meadowbrook Park on any given spring Saturday, according to Johnson County Park and Recreation District.

Still, COVID-19 restrictions will be in place and several steps have been taken to ensure the event meets local health guidelines even as COVID-19 case numbers drop throughout Johnson County.

  • Organizers submitted a mass gathering plan to the county, which was approved.
  • All COVID-19 precautions and expectations will be communicated to participants in advance.
  • Masks will be required, and those who do not have a mask will be provided one at one of four entrances to the car show.
  • Car show participants will be given extra space to spread out.
  • Signage reminding visitors to physically distance will be placed at the four entrances, and six-foot distance markers will be placed in high-traffic areas.
  • Participants will be asked to self screen for COVID-19 symptoms prior to attendance via email, and will be asked to stay home if exhibiting any symptoms.
  • Sanitation stations will be placed around activity stations and food trucks.
  • Food and drink will be distributed by servers wearing gloves, and cashless transactions will be encouraged.

Additionally, the museum will have 60 volunteers helping to ensure the COVID-19 measures are enforced simply by asking visitors to comply.

Prairie Village Councilmember Chad Herring expressed concerns about the show’s potential to spread COVID-19, as well as discrepancies he noted between organizers’ presentation to the city council stating masks will be required and online language stating masks will merely be encouraged.

The car show’s online instructions now say masks will be “required.”

Others, like Councilmember Sheila Myers, said the face that the event is outdoors coupled with the additional safety measures organizers are taking, was enough to greenlight the event.

Councilmember Tucker Poling expressed his support for the special-use permit, and said the county health department signing off on the mass gathering contributed to his support.

“As we transition, hopefully, to whatever the new normal is, we’re going to have to get used to adapting in this transition period — and I think [the museum has] a good plan,” Poling said.

The city council approved the car show in a 8 to 4 vote, with Councilmembers Jori Nelson, Dan Runion, Inga Selders and Piper Reimer in opposition.