40’s In A Bag is a unique show in it’s 10th year, put on by one of the most chill, fun dudes out there; Aaron Smith. While of course the show has grown a lot in the last few years, it’s still a small local get-together type show for euro cars only, where everyone comes together for a weekend and has a great deal of fun while being surrounded with the very thing that brought us all together in the first place; cars.
The most unique aspect of all would have to be the entry fee. The show is free to the public, as long as you have a 40 oz with you. Your 40 is not only part of your drink of choice for the day, but also how you vote for your favorite car. Once you have finished your 40, you place it in front of your favorite car in the show. The car with the most votes at the end will win People’s Choice.
The drive to the show (for me anyways) is one of the best parts. Beautiful Upstate NY roads, going through the Ashokan Reservoir, and up windy back-roads through small farmland. Coming up around the big turn where the show-field comes into view is one of the best feelings of “we’re here”. Seeing all of the cars already in attendance, all of the easy-ups and barbecues, and the main stage. On the other side of the road are tents on tents on tents put up by anyone who is camping out overnight. And all of this is taking place right at the base of a mountain, perfect for beautiful photos.
40’s is good at being the most fun hangout of the year, while also having aspects of being a show. Right at the entrance to the show field, there is a tent with everything 40’s. There are hats, shirts, stickers, cups, coozies, ect. Parked next to the merchandise tent is the years raffle vehicle. Every year Aaron goes out and finds the coolest old VW, brings it home and cleans it up, makes one special someone a VERY happy camper. There are also sticker tents, food vendors with amazing local food, and a beautiful home-built stage with some big VW and Audi signs, perfect for all of the fun activities.
The main stage is home to the award ceremony at the end of everything, but not before having some fun. Aaron has a sound off every year, for only the loudest and best sounding cars. There is a “coal rolling” competition for the TDI’s of the community. And finally, the best of the best will be brought up to the stage for final voting for best in show among other awards. Once the ceremonies are over, the real party begins. Tiki torches, tents, brews and whatever you can think of. Aaron sets the massive bonfire and everyone gathers for the movie of the year.
The biggest and most important aspect of 40’s has and always will be Respect. Respect keeps the show going year in and year out. Despite all of the alcoholic beverages and people who are far from sober, every year there are very very little to no incidents of disrespect. No one vandalizes anything, everyone helps clean up the field the next morning, and everyone obeys the rules. All in all, if you can respect the show and Aaron’s very few rules, you will not have a bad time at 40’s In A Bag.
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Photos and words by Chris Whit