Arts & Autos celebrates its 20th year of nostalgia
If there’s one thing Denton does well (I know, it’s hard to pick just one, but hear me out), it’s nostalgia. The four corners of the downtown Square act as a sort of force field, and upon entering the threshold, visitors are transported to a time when analog reigned supreme.
So, when an event that captures that specific nostalgic sentiment comes along, you can expect it to return year after year. The Arts & Autos Extravaganza is that event. Presented annually by the Denton Main Street Association, this year’s 20th anniversary event falls on Saturday, Sept. 14 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Hot rods, classic cars, souped-up trucks and motorcycles line the Square. Local artisans selling handmade goods and artwork, as local musicians take to the courthouse steps to play the soundtrack for the day, and all ages decorate the sidewalk with chalk as part of the chalk fest.
The Arts & Autos Extravaganza offers multi-generational art enthusiasts and car lovers a chance to connect while giving visitors a glimpse into transportation trends from 1920 until today.
Car aficionados numbering into the thousands from across Texas and Oklahoma fill the Square, and more than 250 cars are expected to register for the event in at least one of the 75 judging categories, according to Denton Main Street Association’s events and marketing coordinator Christine Gossett.
Judges and gearheads make their rounds to examine every car, truck and motorcycle entered, deciding awards such as Best in Show and Best Gas Guzzler, with almost everything in between. From the best Pre-’30s original model to the best ‘82 Corvette original and modified, to the best Euro bike and ‘60s-era truck, Arts & Autos leaves no perfect-condition engine unturned.
It’s all about showcasing the automobiles, and Denton’s square, too. According to Gossett, Arts & Autos brings generations of Denton history hobbyists to the Square.
Perhaps that’s because these hobbyists know that, at Arts & Autos, there’s a good story around every corner.
A 13-time attendee and just about as many-time award winner, Ford Model A-owner Shawn Reneau is not your typical life-long car hobbyist. Nevertheless, he’s felt just as welcome in the community as if he was. He restored his father’s beloved 1929 Ford Model A Phantom as an 80th birthday surprise, and has since found his love and place at the Arts & Autos Extravaganza.
With a dark teal paint job, accented with bright, light yellow rims, two thin yellow lines running from front to back, and an interior of buttery bourbon-colored leather, the Ford is a looker. And Reneau is a sharer. “Some people don’t even know what it is, but it brings back memories for a lot of the old-timers who do know what it is,” he said.
That’s the best part for him. Although he is a multi-time winner, Reneau is in it more for the stories that each car brings to the Square.
For its 20th anniversary, the Arts & Autos Extravaganza is expected to be bigger than ever, so make sure you mark your calendar for this trip down memory lane. Enter the kids into the Chalk Fest, and line them up for the hands-on games and activities, as you make your way down Elm, Hickory, Locust and Oak Streets, stopping every couple of cars to get to know its own unique story, and its owner’s, too.
Arts & Autos Extravaganza
When: Saturday, Sept. 14
9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Where: Downtown Denton Square
More info: dentonmainstreet.org
Show your best chalk art for a chance to win cash prizes!
Artist age categories: 6 & under, 7-11, 12-17, 18 and older
See details on how to enter at dentonmainstreet.org