Street rodders reject departure rumours
Geelong Street Rodders President Greg Morrissey said last month’s three-day Rod Run - the first official show since pre-covid - was potentially the biggest to be held in Queenscliff yet, with more than 620 entries and upwards of 10,000 enthusiasts descending on the town.
Visitors lined the full length of Hesse Street on the Saturday night to watch the procession of classic vehicles.
“I wouldn’t have a clue how many people were there on the Saturday night [for the Hesse Street cruise], but there were thousands and thousands and I genuinely believe, just looking around at the people and the cars, that it was probably the biggest Saturday night we’ve had. It was standing room only,” Mr Morrissey said.
“And despite the weather not looking so great early, there was definitely a hell of a crowd there on the Sunday as well.”
The show is one of the biggest of its kind in the state, and in terms of numbers, is comparable with national level events, Mr Morrissey said.
“We had 621 entries, which was maybe a little bit down on 2020, but certainly in the mix of what we’d normally get and we had people come from Queensland, New South Wales and the ACT, South Australia and probably beyond that.”
Always held on the first weekend of February, the Rod Run delivers enormous economic benefits to local charities, clubs, businesses and accommodation providers. The Queenscliff Lions Club receives and distributes gate-takings from the Sunday Show and Shine in Princess Park, while sporting clubs generate thousands of dollars through catering.
In August, as part of the Victoria Park Management Plan, Councillors approved a ban on all camping from January 31 - less than a week before this years hot rod show. The decision forced members to seek accommodation outside of town and sparked rumours on social media that the drawcard could go elsewhere.
Describing the event as “special” to his members, Mr Morrissey said the event would remain in town.
“Those rumours probably just started with people being a bit disgruntled about the caravan park, and ultimately gathered pace.
“We’ll book in a meeting with the council for a bit of a wrap-up and a debrief and that will probably be mentioned, but at this point there are no legs to the story that we are moving. There is no truth in it,” he said.
At February’s Council meeting, in response to a request from club events coordinator Bob Ward for camping in Victoria Park to be extended by one week and approximately 20 sites from next year, Mayor Isabelle Tolhurst did not rule out a change to camping ban.
“Council acknowledges the success of this year’s Rod Run and the appetite to have these sites open will be taken into consideration when we review the policy later in the year,” she said. “The review will consider a range of stakeholder inputs and considerations from visitors and community members.
“The Borough supports the Rod Run, is committed to working with the committee and members to strengthen the event and looks forward to your 2024 return.”