Friday through Saturday, May 24 & 25, GOLDEN STATE CLASSICS Cruise and Car Show Downtown Paso, Memorial Day Weekend
No matter your pleasure, May has something going on in Paso all month long. There is sure to be an event for you. And for sure, one of the funnest things is the Classics Cruise and Car Show. This is the show’s seventh consecutive year.
Friday night, May 24 and Saturday the 25th are the days for the seventh annual Classics Cruise and Car Show sponsored by the Golden State Classics Car Club. Naturally, this is a family-oriented two-day event for those of all ages. But, before it officially begins, the vehicles have to show up. Beginning on Thursday and then all day long on Friday, before the parade starts, vintage vehicles start to roll into town. It’s just fun to be on the sidewalks downtown and watch them ease their way into Paso. Here’s a secret: the best viewing spots are around The Inn (across from City Park) as that’s become the de facto gathering place for the cars’ owners to get together and catch up on their car tales while they dust the metal to bring back the perfect shine. Please drive extra carefully because there are always groups of people gathered around the parked cars and folks sometimes spill into the street for a better glimpse.
Later, on Friday afternoon, those same sidewalks begin “sprouting folding chairs” to hold viewers’ spots before the parade actually starts down Spring Street at 6 p.m. And what a parade it is! Just like Paso’s other parade on Pioneer Day, this is a Paso event showing off decades of beauty as the vehicles “strut their stuff” while cruising. About 300 classic vehicles are going to be in town over the weekend. The vehicles cruise back and forth from 6th to 23rd streets so you can get a good look from both sides and snap photos. Their owners put on a great exhibition and it’s often difficult to figure out who is having a better time — the spectators or the drivers. If you are into classic cars, and even if you’re not, there are only a couple words to use: Beautifully enticing!
Saturday, the Downtown City Park is the place to be to see these wonderful American memories because you can get up close and personal to both the vehicles and owners. Officially, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., there is a full cadre of classics, custom rigs, woodies, street rods, and VWs along with their owners to tell you about them. Marvelous paint jobs, massive grills, real leather for upholstery, white-wall tires, stick shifts and AM radios. If you’re old enough to remember, it’ll take you back. If you aren’t of “that certain age to recall these beauties,” one often hears, “Why don’t they make these today?” These classics truly display the USA dominance of automotive engineering from “those by-gone days.” They make you drool and all of a sudden, before you know it, you’ve mentally added one to your Christmas list! Wandering through the cars in the park, there’ll be plenty
of vehicle-related vendors, food booths and vehicles for sale. A DJ plays the music that’s upbeat and surfin’ for cruisin’. You’ll be busy for a while.
It was back in 1986 when Golden State Classics Car Club was started to simply keep the memories of antique motor-vehicles alive. The founders also wanted to bring awareness and restoration-knowledge that provide a pathway for folks to learn and become involved while encouraging them in a club setting. GSCCC is alive, strong and vibrant. “The Cruise” that was begun by Russ Johnson 7 years ago as a concept is great to have here in town. Russ is being honored this year for doing just that. We thank him for persevering.
It’s no accident that the club instigated another reason to bring residents and visitors together in Paso. The Central Coast had rain by the foot and our picturesque country roads winding through vineyards and ranches provides the gorgeous locale for driving the oldies around. As Paso’s recognition and reputation grow, so does the desire for car owners to simply drive to our pueblo and enjoy the super country scenery to leisurely cruise and hang out. As a logical place to gather, we, the residents are often rewarded throughout the year when we see an ad-hoc group of classic autos in the area. Don’t we always slow down to stare and smile — probably dream just a little bit too?
An important part of the weekend event is that all the funds raised by the car club during the weekend go back to local organizations. As always, Paso is a give-back community. Our residents know and respect Golden State Classic Car Club because it donates a tall stack of dollars that allow for great community work. With regards to that, sponsors also donate T-shirts, awards and posters to name a few items. Last year, donations from GSCCC went to at least a dozen worthy causes from school groups to scouting, our local museums and to outreach programs. This club is truly involved and committed to Paso.
Learn more at goldenstateclassics.org. Shawn Van Horn (805-610-8400) is in charge of this year’s event. The club president is Ronnie Maxwell (805-312-2583). Paulette Pahler is club VP and is available with information about virtually anything (805-459-6711).