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Classic car show draws big crowds
They call it Midnight at the Oasis, but the sun was literally shining on the annual classic car show this past weekend, making for blockbuster attendance.
Terry Frydenlund, this year's “Captain Midnight,” was still tabulating attendance, but he estimated somewhere north of 30,000 people total came out to the assorted events Friday through Sunday at the Ray Kroc Sports Complex. He's not sure if that's a record crowd, but he did say it was more than anticipated.
The Caballeros de Yuma, who have put on the event for the past 22 years, couldn't have asked for better weather for both day and evening events.
“We had chamber of commerce weather this weekend, that's for sure,” Frydenlund said.
Event organizers didn't reach their goal of 1,000 cars, but they did still draw between 825 and 875 roadsters, coupes, hot rods, muscle cars and other rides through the 1970s for auto fans to admire. Other events included a fun run and parade of cars Friday, concerts Friday and Saturday evening, and the “show and shines” during the day Saturday and Sunday.
Frydenlund credited the many Caballeros who helped him put together the event and the city, especially the Yuma Police Department, for its help with traffic flow, for putting another MATO in the record books.
The Caballeros, a longtime Yuma ambassadors group, hold many special events throughout the year: the Territorial River Regatta in June, the Colorado River Crossing Balloon Festival in November, the El Toro Bowl in December, the Yuma Territorial Marathon in January and the Friendship Tower ceremonies: a holiday pageant and lighting for Christmas and a flag-raising for Independence Day.
The civic-minded Caballeros partner with nonprofits and raise money on their behalf, as well as offer college scholarships.
“In addition to the hotel rooms and the restaurant visits and all the other economic activity that MATO brings to the community,” said Frydenlund, “I like not to forget that funds that we raise during the course of this event go to an awful lot of nonprofits that are (in) partnership with us during the three days (and) also the funds that we have available then for supporting youth activities and other requests around the community.
“It's one of the primary reasons that we do MATO. From the three-day gig, there's just an awful lot of things that can come.”
Hillary Davis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 539-6857. Find her on Facebook at Facebook.com/YSHillaryDavis or on Twitter at @YSHillaryDavis.