The wheels are rolling once again for one of the region’s star tourist attractions, as Destination Victoria announced on Thursday its purchase of Northwest Deuce Days. The event is expected to return in the summer of 2022.
Started in 1998, Deuce Days is a three-day gathering for vehicles converted into hot rods, street rods and rat rods. The star of the show is the 1932 Ford — commonly referred to as a Deuce, a nickname related to an abbreviation of the car’s year of manufacture.
The volunteer-run event took place every three years — and always in Victoria.
In 2019, the last year the event was held, almost 1,400 colourful modified vehicles from across North America showed up for the party.
The event, which typically draws crowds of upwards of 100,000 spectators, many of them tourists, was an economic engine for the region, with an estimated $2-million annual impact.
So when founder Al Clark announced in March his intention to end the event, talks began to acquire the rights from him.
On Thursday, Clark handed over a folder containing all his organizational notes to Jay Donovan, his designated successor.
“This is a good time for me to take a step back knowing that the spirit of the event, that was founded in friendships and a shared passion for these iconic cars, lives on,” said Clark.
The two have known each other for years, as Donovan’s custom fabrication shop for motorcycles and cars is around the corner from Clark’s Fairfield garage.
“While we are slightly behind the ball this year, Al has left all the pieces in place for us to follow up in his footsteps,” said Donovan, 27. “Collectively, we will get through all the hurdles and put on a quality event next year.”
Donovan plans to juggle his time between organizing Deuce Days and his business.
Northwest Deuce Days joins a portfolio of owned and partnered events by Destination Greater Victoria that includes Impact Sustainability Travel and Tourism Conference, Capital City Comic Con and Dine Around and Stay in Town Victoria.
Northwest Deuce Days typically takes place in the third week of July.