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Automotion returns to Wisconsin Dells May 22-23
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Automotion returns to Wisconsin Dells May 22-23

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One of the biggest festivals to kick off summer in Wisconsin Dells will return for its typical timeframe with activities the event is famous for in a two-day event.

The 35th annual Automotion Classic Car Show will be May 22-23 in the parking lot of Mt. Olympus Water and Theme Park, the same location where it was held last year.

Last year’s Automotion was moved to September due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The event was previously held at Noah’s Ark.

Jenifer Dobbs, Wisconsin Dells Visitor and Convention Bureau Festival and Events Manager, expects about 500 pre-registered cars to sign up before the weekend of Automotion.

The first day of the event, she’s expecting the number to increase to 1,200 plus cars depending on weather.

This year will feature a new vendor, Greg and Leah from Greg’s Speed Shop, Dobbs said, as well as 75 SWAP vendors and food vendors will be present.

A pedal pull, balloon twisters and entertainer TJ Howel will return this year.

Hollywood on Broadway, which showcases cars from various movies, will not happen this year due to the event losing the corner of Cedar Street and Broadway and not being able to relocate with construction in downtown Wisconsin Dells.

Dobbs is hoping Hollywood on Broadway will return for the 2022 Automotion.

Dobbs said the amount of people attending Automotion will depend on the weather.

Usually, more than 20,000 people attend Automotion every year.

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In 2016, an estimated 50,000 people attended Automotion and the event had over 1,300 cars, she said.

Dobbs is expecting a lot more attendees at Automotion this year, based on attendance at other car shows, unlike last year when the pandemic caused uncertainty for travel and gathering in large groups.

Dells’ Automotion rolls through rain, pandemic

Spectator parking is free. Registration to show off a car at Automotion cost $10, and those interested can register at

Registration will close May 16 and cost $15 the weekend of the event.

Cars manufactured in 1989 or earlier are eligible to register so drivers can show off their hot ride at Automotion.

“We have a little bit of everything that comes to the show,” Dobbs said of the cars that come to Automotion.

Gates open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday and all cars are normally parked by 10 a.m.

The same guidelines and precautions against COVID-19 will be in place as the September event, including hand sanitizer and sinks throughout the parking lot.

Those at Automotion are asked to social distance and to stay home if not feeling well, Dobbs said.

Wisconsin Dells police report crime up during Automotion weekend, Lake Delton reports lower numbers

Dobbs said attendees come from all over the nation.

Last year, one group came from Texas, she said.

“Automotion is a classic car show that is 35 years in the making. It’s a multi-generational show, it’s a nice way to kick off our summer season,” Dobbs said.

“It fills up our hotels and we hope that spectators and participants are enjoying what the Dells has to offer, doing some shopping, dining and enjoying the attractions.”

Follow Erica Dynes on Twitter @EDynes_CapNews or contact her at 608-393-5346.


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