Weekly car event promotes community and local tourism

Weekly car event promotes community and local tourism

Cylinders and Snacks, a passion project for local community member and car lover, Rein Bontreger, brings cars and people together on a weekly basis in downtown Rensselaer. When you enter Reinforcements Design, Rein and Suzie Bontreger’s shop, a row of Hot Wheels can be seen hanging on the wall in the room beyond the shop’s front desk. Rein once had many Hot Wheels as a child, and as he got older he started to ask himself: “How am I just supposed to have one car?” That’s how the weekly event, Cylinders and Snacks, came into fruition. 

The event started in 2018 when Rein began to recognize the need for a more local car show for Jasper County’s Rensselaer residents. He thought that maybe people wouldn’t have time in their already busy schedules to drive to DeMotte, Wheatfield, or even Remington. He started posting about the events on Facebook, and they are still running six years later. 

The weekly events are aimed at getting community members together, even if they just choose to stay for five minutes or for the whole two and a half hours. It’s not aimed to be a car show with judgment, it’s solely for the purpose of getting community members to spend time together and celebrate a nice week.

Todd Utpatel has a decked out, or “ducked” out Jeep Renegade with green flames shining against a red body. He said sometimes car shows can be unfair, and this is an easier outlet to go to, where he also gets to sit around and talk to community members.

This was Dave Stouse’s first time attending Cylinders and Snacks. He saw the event advertised on Facebook, and thought it would be a good opportunity to meet people instead of on social media.

Cylinders and Snacks happens every Thursday night from 5-7:30 p.m. CST now through September 26. More information about the events can be found on Reinforcement Design’s Facebook page

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