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Decades-old automotive tradition back at Langley school

D.W. Poppy Secondary’s car show expected to attract thousands of visitors in May
Car fans are reflected by the immaculate paint of a classic Thunderbird. (Langley Advance Times files)

One of Langley’s oldest car show is back after a two-year hiatus due to COVID.

About 750 vintage, classic, muscle, and custom cars and some 3,500 visitors filled the playing fields at D.W. Poppy Secondary in 2019. And this year, too, the Poppy car show coordinators are expected to attract “a lot” of people.

Preparations are already underway for the May 1 event with committee meetings and “lots of work” behind the scenes being done, said school principal Diane Smillie.

The car show is now in its 33rd year, and the school will keep the decades-old traditions alive with a car parade, concessions – including one run by the basketball team– and other activities intended to raise funds for a cause.

This year, that cause – as always – is school based. The event is the biggest annual Poppy fundraiser benefiting the school, including the shops and school technology, athletic teams, dry grad and other projects. This time, organizers are hoping to raise money for a tire mounting machine, CNC router machine, and a large capacity grill for school events, Smillie explained.

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Spectators will be able to enjoy an array of collector vehicles and motorcycles, music, a raffle, and vendors selling everything from car show T-shirts and hats, to vintage signs and more.

Around $40,000 was raised at the last show in 2019, and Smillie said any amount above $30,000 plus would be “pretty great.”

“We are ecstatic that it has opened up. We could not do it last year.”

Event coordinator, Kerri Winter shared similar sentiments and said that she is happy to see the event return.

“It has been our tradition and I am looking forward to putting on an event for the community,” Winter added.

A team of about 75 to 100 volunteers, comprised of students and parents, will be present to help visitors with parking, purchase tickets, give tours, manage entry, and help with other tasks such as set up and tear down.

Volunteer time at the car show benefits students through increased program opportunities and enriches their academic experiences, Smillie said.

READ MORE: VIDEO: D.W. Poppy school car show draws crowds

The Langley school car show has become annual tradition drawing hundreds of cars and even more fans.

“It is also an opportunity for the school to connect and network with the local community,” the principal concluded.

To participate in the car show, people can pre-register on the school website at before April 29, or in-person before April 22. Early bird tickets for the event cost $15 before March 7, and registration on show day at the gate will be a minimum $20 donation.

Pre-registration comes with a dash plaque and a chance to win Poppy car show memorabilia on the day of the event.

Public entry to the show is a minimum $5 donation, with the show running from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The show takes place on school grounds, at 23752 52nd Ave., and dogs will not be allowed.


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Tanmay Ahluwalia

About the Author: Tanmay Ahluwalia

Tanmay Ahluwalia is a journalist with a digital mindset and a proud alumnus of the University of Delhi.
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