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No Canada D’eh car show this year in Langley

Metro Vancouver denies application to hold 19th edition of annual event at former Langley Speedway
Thousands of visitors dropped by to see hundreds of cars of all kinds at the 18th annual Jellybean AutoCrafters “Canada d’Eh Celebration and Car Show” held on July 1, at the old Langley Speedway in 2023. Metro Vancouver staff did not approve this year’s event. (Langley Advance Times files)

There won’t be a Canada D’eh car show at the Langley Speedway this year.

Event co-organizer Ewald Penner told the Langley Advance Times Metro Vancouver turned down their application to hold the annual July 1 show for a 19th year.

According to Penner, Metro parks staff have told them they will be removing a “few hundred” parking spots from the upper grass parking area that was being used as the event’s overflow parking space, so a new horse trail can be built around the perimeter of that area, leaving just 65 parking paved spots.

Penner called the decision “disheartening.”

“We still hope to be back there in 2025 but it looks like it’s a long shot at this point,” Penner said on Monday, April 1.

READ ALSO: Hundreds return to old Langley Speedway for Canada D’eh car show

Penner said staff have informed them the Speedway “has an expiry date coming up soon, so the track will be removed in the coming years”

However, Murray Jones, president of the Langley Speedway Historical Society, disputed that, saying he was advised, by his Metro Vancouver contacts, that they have “no intention of removing the track – if anything, they have more intention of improving the site for use.”

Jones pointed to Metro Vancouver’s 2020 Campbell Valley Regional Park Management Plan, which described the former race track as the “Little River Bowl Activity Area” and called for it to “be enhanced to support day use, special events and group activities with amenities such as water, parking and washrooms.”

As well, Jones advised, the road down to the track “is finally going to get repaved [by the Township], probably for the first time since the track was operational.”

In response to a Langley Advance Times query, a Metro Vancouver spokesperson said there were no plans to remove the track and improvements to the site are planned.

It would have been the 19th year of the annual Canada Day event, which started as a show-and-shine at Jellybean AutoCrafters, the custom car building business Ewald and his brother Kurt operate near the Surrey-Langley border.

READ ALSO: How two brothers built a wildly successful custom car and restoration company near the Surrey - Langley border

“The first year, we had 55 vehicles but the show grew quickly,” Ewald recalled.

After a few years, the event relocated to the old Langley Speedway.

“We are now at 1,100 vehicles and about 1,400 people attending the event [on average],” Ewald estimated.

Located at the south end of 208th Street off 16th Ave., Langley Speedway is a quarter-mile paved oval track for stock car racing that operated between 1965 and 1984.

According to the Langley Speedway Historical Society, Langley Speedway was one of only three locations in British Columbia that has hosted NASCAR events over the years.

Dan Ferguson

About the Author: Dan Ferguson

Best recognized for my resemblance to St. Nick, I’m the guy you’ll often see out at community events and happenings around town.
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