Rides, Rallies and Events Recap

KC Riverfest Car and Motorcycle Show

Written by  July 31, 2005

After living in the Kansas City metro for almost 20 years, I am somewhat ashamed to admit I had never visited the Berkley Riverfront Park before July 2 of this year. It has truly been my loss to delay a visit. Stephanie and I decided to ride the scooter down and check out some of the Kansas City Riverfest activities held July 2-3 in celebration of Independence weekend. Alright, to be honest, all I really went for was the Kansas City Riverfest Car and Motorcycle show, and I am damn glad I did. The weather was perfect for the event and the surroundings were gorgeous. We had no more than pulled through the entrance when event organizer and promoter Jimmie Evans of Pistonhead Performance Productions greeted us.

Jimmie was a wealth of information. He informed us the event was held in cooperation with the Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City, and he wanted special thanks given to Patrick Klatt of that group. Jimmie also made it crystal clear that his partners Tony Tosatto and Larry Dearing were instrumental in helping him pull the event together.

To be completely honest with you, the job of a photojournalist is not all the glamour and big dollars one would expect. Many times when covering an event, you spend most of your time tracking down people you want to interview while they are busy attending to the business at hand. Believe it or not, these are not ideal conditions in which to get undivided attention. Jimmie was a big exception to the rule. Not only did he provide his services as a guide to the event, but he also gave us more than ample attention answering all our questions and introducing us to many of the people who were involved in this event.

The selection of cars and motorcycles on display provided something to suit anyone’s taste. The motorcycles ranged from daily ridden machines to full bore customs including the wild chopper of John Simpson, while the cars ranged from restored classics, muscle cars and full blown street rods to show cars with stereo and video systems better than I have in my home. Three of the show cars came all the way from St. Louis to attend the event. While people enjoyed looking over all the fine machinery, DJ Jeff Ely not only played great tunes but also kept people entertained with music trivia questions. The younger attendees enjoyed the big box of free Hot Wheels cars located by the sound system.

The rest of the grounds were filled with vendors, local radio and television booths and of course my personal favorite, beer vendors. The crowd was varied, not only in age but also in backgrounds. There were as many polo shirts as black T-shirts.

The stage set up for the Jimmy Van Zant concert was situated in the best fashion possible to utilize the venue’s natural beauty. The Missouri River and the tree-lined north bank formed an excellent natural backdrop for the performance. We got the pleasure of meeting Mr. Van Zant and his lovely wife Zora before the show. They were both gracious enough to pose for a photo in the midday heat and chat with us for a few moments. Unfortunately, we had previous commitments with friends that prevented us from staying for what I found out later to be one hell of a show.

There were many more events held during the two-day festival that would appeal to almost anyone’s taste.

I congratulate Jimmy on his premiere of the KC Riverfest Car and Motorcycle Show. I can only hope that next year more people of Kansas City and the surrounding areas support this event and make it a Kansas City tradition. Jimmy, for his part, promises next year’s show will be “bigger, badder, and better than ever.” Ya know what—I believe him.

Story & Photos by Loney and
Stephanie Wilcoxson

Congratulations to the following winners of the the 2005 Kansas City Riverfest Car and Bike Show:

Peoples Choice Car
1st - Ivan Boykin 1969- Eleanor Mustang
2nd - Allen Larremore - 2001 Chevrolet Corvette
3rd - Rob Roxburg - 1968 Dodge Charger RT

Peoples Choice Motorcycle
1st - Rich Hannig - 1971 Harley Davidson FLH
2nd - John Simpson - 2004 Custom Panhead Chopper
3rd - Sonny Norris - 1999 Harley Davidson Night Train

Best of Show Car
1st - John Bersuch - 1931 Chevrolet 2dr Sedan
2nd - Ivan Boykin - 1969 Eleanor Mustang
3rd - Rbert Rauscher - 1970 Chevrolet Corvette

Best Of Show Motorcycle
1st - John Simpson - 2004 Custom Panhead Chopper
2nd - James Williams - 2002 Custom Softtail
3rd - John Aquino - 2002 Harley Davidson Dyna Super Glide