Most Viewed Stories
Classic cars again revving way to Yuma
Click here to view a slideshow of last year's Midnight at the Oasis
It's that time of year that car enthusiasts throughout Yuma County have been patiently, but excitingly, waiting for – Midnight at the Oasis.
This year's vintage car show, now in its 22nd year, is being held March 1-3 at the Ray Kroc Sports Complex and is expected to draw up to 50,000 spectators, depending on the weather.
According to Terry Frydenlund, who is Captain Midnight for this year's event, spectators can expect to see close to 1,000 classic cars on display, including many classic makes and models that were manufactured before 1972.
“You will get to see cars that range from renovation jobs done in the back yard to ones that cost $200,000 to $300,000,” Frydenlund said. “They are all fun to look at and they are all vintage.”
MATO will get underway on that Friday with a Fun Run at 1 p.m. That will be followed at 4:30 p.m. by the traditional Cruise to the Ray Kroc Complex, which will allow spectators lining the streets to see their favorite classic cars and trucks come rolling by.
“The nice thing about the cruise is that it gives you an opportunity to sit in one spot and see what most of the cars look like,” Frydenlund said. “You won't see all the cars in the event, but there will be about 200 to 300 in the parade. You can sit in one spot and the cars come to you.”
The parade route will begin at Yuma Greyhound Park, 4000 S. 4th Ave. It will continue east along 40th Street, south along 4th Avenue, southwest along Airport Loop, west along East County 14th Street, north along Avenue B, east along 32nd Street and then south on Avenue A, ending at Desert Sun Stadium, 1280 W. Desert Sun Drive.
That will be followed by a concert triple feature with gates to the stadium opening to the public at 5:30 p.m. and Yuma's own '80s band Checker'd Past taking the stage a half hour later. Also performing on Friday night are Led Zepplica, a Led Zeppelin tribute band, at 7:15 p.m., and Van Halen tribute band The Atomic Punks, who will take the stage at 9:30 p.m.
Tickets for the Friday-night concerts are $10 for age 16 or older and $5 for ages 6 to 15. Children under 6 get in for free.
On Saturday, the first Show and Shine will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. At 11 a.m. there will be a Pinewood Derby in the bullpen area. Tickets to the daytime events are $5 for age 16 or older, and $3 for ages 6 to 15. Children under 6 get in for free.
During the Show and Shine, classic cars of every description will be parked in the four baseball fields at Ray Kroc Sports Complex, including Roadsters, Coupes, Hot Rods, muscle cars and more. Frydenlund said while most of the cars come from the '50s and the '60s, there will also be plenty of classics from the '20s, '30s, and '40s along with muscle cars from the early '70s.
Frydenlund said MATO is a regional car show and draws car owners from all over Arizona, California, Mexico and Nevada.
The gates will then close at 4 p.m. as spectators work their way out of the complex and re-open a half hour later for the final two concerts of the weekend. Taking the stage first at 7 p.m. will be Satisfaction, a Rolling Stones tribute band. They will be followed by the Stars of Beatlemania, a Beatles tribute band, at 9 p.m.
Tickets for Saturday night's concerts are $15 for age 16 or older and $5 for ages 6 to 15. Children under 6 get in for free. Gates close at 11:30 p.m.
Frydenlund explained that revenue generated from the event is used to benefit the community, so as a way of helping to reduce the cost of putting on the event – which means more money going back to the community – the Caballeros decided to bring in less expensive tribute bands instead of paying for a much higher-priced featured performer.
“We think the quality of entertainment will still be first-rate. I don't think anyone will be disappointed,” Frydenlund said. “We tried to keep the genres of the '60s and '70s. I think we stayed pretty close to the true nature of the event.”
On Sunday, the second Show and Shine will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Raffle tickets for a 1957 Chevy Coupe will be available during the weekend for $20 each. The winning ticket for the '57 Chevy, along with winning tickets for other prizes, will be drawn Sunday morning.
Tickets for Sunday's events are $5 for age 16 or older, and $3 for ages 6 to 15. Children under 6 get in for free.
MATO generates much-needed revenue for Yuma-area hotels, restaurants and gas stations that will be catering to out-of-town visitors here for the event. It is also a boon for nonprofit organizations, which will benefit financially from the proceeds they raise from food and vendor booths set up at the event.
An advanced passport to all of the events can be purchased before MATO opens for $20 each at the Yuma Civic Center, Yuma Visitors Bureau, NAPA Auto Stores (Pacific Avenue and 10th Street locations), Booth Machinery, Papa San Restaurant and Liberty Motorsports.
Advance passports may also be purchased through the Caballeros office by calling 928-343-1715 or emailing Caballeros de Yuma at email@example.com.
James Gilbert can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 539-6854. Find him on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/YSJamesGilbert or on Twitter @YSJamesGilbert.