I don’t think it’s much of a stretch to say that we started talking about, and looking forward to, High River 2022 (aka the First Annual Brian Chipchase Sr. Memorial Show & Shine) from about the time we were driving home from High River 2021.
The various shows and events featured on the blog over the years have often been described as each having their own unique feel or atmosphere to them; Driven is the season kick-off and Sunday School was the celebration of the Calgary community, but High River might as well be a real-life Forza Horizon Festival (minus the racing, natch).
In case you think this comparison feels a bit ambitious, I use it specifically because a number of us all hopped out of our cars that morning and immediately started sharing the exact same sentiment following the drive in. Picture the morning: early on a weekend, multiple convoys of cars from all makes and eras pouring in, hot air balloons dotting the sky, and all of the streets alive with activity as owners, enthusiasts, and other participants are setting up cars for display, vendor stands, food trucks, and more. After a year-long wait for this day you’d think we could have set our expectations too high, but that morning had a completely unmatched feel to it and in a flash any of the tiredness from the lack of sleep had been replaced with excitement for the day ahead.
Last year had actually been my first time attending, since the prior few events had either been cancelled due to Covid or ruined by horrendous weather – I think 2021 was the first proper, full steam ahead show since 2017? I took Mustard down for the day to meet up with my mother in her Suburban, Harrison in his MX-6, and Ken in his G; various other familiar faces were there as well of course, but everyone more or less split up into mini groups to wander different directions and this was ours for the day. Even after spending only a few hours there, it was clear this would be one to return to in 2022.
This time around we wanted to maximize our time at the event (and we did, ultimately spending nearly 11 or so hours in town if I recall correctly), so those alarms were set early and we had our meetup times/locations set and ready to go. Had everything gone to plan I would have had two vehicles in town for the day; I was already planning to take the S15 as it would certainly stand out a bit in the field, and my mother was going to be borrowing my Grand Prix since she had already taken all of her cars in prior years, but with the GP unfortunately having teething issues following the engine rebuild however it was already parked for the season by this time so I gave her a lift instead.
Just on the outskirts of town we met up with Harrison (with his MX-6 naturally), before carrying on down the highway. Yolanda and Maggie were a bit ahead of us and were already parked (with the Focus ST and Golf R) when we finally got parking spots, while Ken arrived shortly after (in his new G).
Once all of the cars had been set up we wandered off to get some breakfast at a local restaurant, stopping along the way to pick up our forms and display cards which we filled out while waiting for the food to arrive. After that delicious pit stop it was back to the cars to put the paperwork in them, and then we set off to try and see the entire show.
There’s always some overflow, but the official event covered a handful of streets as well as George Lane Park this year, as shown here. For obvious reasons I didn’t dare try to photograph every vehicle present that day as I don’t think it would have been possible even with the entire day there, nor would my battery packs have lasted through all of that anyway. Instead I captured the variety of vehicles you’ll see below and also saved some power for photos after the show, when a few of us hung around to clean the cars off again (the dust in the ball diamond was INSANE) before taking them around the now-empty town to photograph against different backdrops.
Those photos will be coming in their own entry however, so for this week I have the main event itself: the official High River ’22/Brian Chipchase Sr. Memorial show. From OBS trucks, to Hondas, to Superbirds, to too many irresistible diecasts (quite a few came home with us), this show had it all. I’m not sure what mix of cars we’ll have with us next year – maybe the poor Grand Prix will finally get to attend – but we will be there and if you’re able, you should be too.