Redlands firefighters take over State Street with 21st annual car show

REDLANDS A throwback to cruising down the boulevard returns to State Street this weekend with the 21st annual Redlands Firefighters Car Show.

The event, hosted by the Redlands Fire Association, takes over the downtown area from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday with activities for all ages, including vintage cars on display, a beer garden, food and refreshments, and live music. Admission is free.

“The history and antique feeling of classic cars lining the downtown street is really cool to see,” said Matt Ley, an event organizer and a fire engineer for the Redlands Fire Department.

The car show’s original intent was to raise funds for the California Firefighters Memorial in Sacramento, which recognizes firefighters who have died in the line of duty, including Kenneth Enslow, the son of former Redlands fire Chief Mel Enslow.

After the memorial was built, those behind the effort wanted to keep it going. This time, funds go to the Firefighters Benevolent Fund, which assists families of firefighters who are injured or killed in the line of duty, and other community needs such as student scholarships.

The show started out small when it was first held at Splash Kingdom. Moving the event to State Street has aided in its growth, especially this year when pre-registration numbers are looking good, he said.

“We’re 21 years strong now, so we’re old enough to drink,” Ley joked. “The car show has grown and become more popular and successful over the years, and that is our hope. The Fire Department is about tradition and we’re also about giving back to the community. This is one way to do just that.”

Activities for all ages are planned during the event’s run, including a kid-friendly zone and live music, and — for those 21 and over — a beer garden featuring pours from local breweries and wineries. Participating businesses are State Street Winery, Escape Brewery, Ritual Brewing Co., Hangar 24 Craft Brewery, Oak Hills Brewing Company and Brewcaipa Brewing Co., according to the event’s website. “Best of” awards will be awarded in various categories.

To learn more about the event, go to or call 909-654-4160.