More neutral: Hundreds of people come to the Waitsburg auto show on Saturday | New
WAITSBURG – The sight of classic cars, the smell of food trucks and a sense of normalcy were abundant on Saturday, May 15 at Preston Park in Waitsburg for the return of the Waitsburg One of a Kind Classic Auto Show.
After being postponed to 2020 due to COVID-19 precautions, the Waitsburg event reappeared this weekend with more than 160 cars spread across the grass. Waitsburg organizer Fred Gonzalez, 54, said turnout was high, and not just for a year of reboot.
“It’s the biggest turnout we’ve ever had,” he said.
The annual event has become a family affair since he took it over more than five years ago, Gonzalez said.
The Tri-Cities connection could be part of the event’s growth after the auto club got involved about three years ago, he said, watching the crowds scattered around the small town.
Gonzalez’s team also continued to incorporate a traditional auto parts swap, as well as food trucks, door prizes, and games, such as donut-eating and hula-hoop contests.
Friday night was the traditional car cruise, which usually coincides with the car show and the Waitsburg Celebration Days festival.
The festival was canceled again this year, but Gonzalez and his crew continued with the cruise and the show. About 45 cars participated on Friday evening, he said.
Hundreds of spectators and enthusiasts walked the rows of muscle cars, antiques and hot rods on Saturday.
One of the cars in the shade of the park’s trees belonged to Bill Robinson, 82, of Pasco, who said it was his first show so far this year.
Robinson said he bought the 1957 Pontiac Star Chief station wagon in 2016 in not-so-good condition in a small town in Illinois.
“By the end of the year (2016) this thing was in 50,000 pieces,” said Robinson’s wife Arlene Robinson. She said Bill Robinson painstakingly restored and refurbished the blue and white beauty, including its original paint job.
It was good to finally release the classic in public and show it off, the Pasco couple said.
Hundreds of other smiling faces in Waitsburg likely felt the same way on Saturday.