Thousands of automotive admirers are expected to descend upon South Pasadena, relishing the roar of engines along one of America’s most iconic roadways, for the 12th annual Cruz’n for Roses Hot Rod & Classic Car Show in September.
Undoubtedly, say organizers, it’s one of the best around, traditionally attracting roughly 7,000 car lovers viewing the shiny, brightly-colored four-wheeled wonders that capture the eye.
“We believe our show is the perfect venue, along famed Route 66 in the historic section of our city,” enthused Cruz’n for Roses Chair Ted Shaw, talking about the significance of the September 18 event, slated from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. “For those who come out, it’s a great day to see hundreds of classic cars on display. For the vehicle owner, it’s a wonderful event for them to show off their pride and joy. They have poured their heart and soul into their cars and look forward to displaying them. They spend thousands of dollars on their vehicle, but the pleasure they get out of showcasing them is immense. It’s a love. They truly, truly love showing their cars.”
While it’s a day for car owners to show their prized possessions and for the masses to enjoy them, the beneficiary of it all is the South Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association (SPTOR), which uses the car entry fees and sponsorship dollars to build and decorate the city’s float, which is annually represented in the famed Rose Parade to kick off the new year. South Pasadena’s entry, constructed entirely by volunteers doesn’t come cheap, costing between $80,000 to $100,000 for the price of materials and flowers.
Proceeds from car entry fees and sponsorship dollars benefit the South Pasadena Tournament of Roses. “The car owners really like the idea that they’re helping support the city float,” explained Janet Benjamin, who is well connected in the community, serving as both the president and decoration chair for the SPTOR, along with managing the car show. “They are well aware that the money raised goes to materials to build the float and flowers to decorate it. It is very important to them, knowing it’s a good cause.”
Shaw says the show nets about $20,000 to help defray the cost of South Pasadena’s float. SPTOR volunteers recognize they couldn’t build and decorate it without the funds coming in from the car show and other float fundraisers throughout the year. “The increased costs for the float make it more difficult to raise money each year, so we are very appreciative of the car owners who come out to support us,” said Benjamin. “They’re really jazzed about where the money goes. They tell me all the time they really like being a part of our show because of South Pasadena’s small-town atmosphere. It’s not the hustle and bustle of a big city.”
A festive day, about two-dozen exhibitors and vendors are expected to sell everything from food and beverages, to hats and automotive supplies during the event. A four-block stretch, featuring about 400 vehicles, will also be rockin’ as lively ‘60s rock ‘n’ roll sounds will be carried up and down the street, full of hot rods, modified trucks, muscle cars, classic Fords and Chevys, and many more, all competing to take home an award in nearly 20 categories. New this year is post-1975 division that promises to put a little vroom-vroom into the event and summer fun. “It will include any vehicle prior to 1975 stock and modified,” said Benjamin. “Since the beginning of the show, we’ve had cars that came to the show that weren’t able to be judged, but they paid their entry fee to support the South Pasadena Tournament of Roses. We thought it would be fun to make a special category for them this year.”
Police and Fire Dept. Open House
In addition to the car show, a free open house, hosted by the South Pasadena police and fire departments, will be part of the big day in town. The event, scheduled from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., will feature police canines, helicopters, guided station tours, child fingerprinting, emergency preparedness information, free giveaways and a collection of antique fire engines on display.
A lucky winner taking part in the South Pasadena Police Officers’ Association raffle will get an opportunity to ride in a police helicopter.
Officers will also be selling SPPD pink patches with proceeds going to fight breast research.
For more information, call (626) 403-7285.