Cruz’n for Roses a Huge Success

Cruz’n for Roses and the police, fire open house attracted thousands to downtown South Pasadena this past Sunday. The event also is a fundraiser for the So Pas float for the Tournament of Roses parade. Photo by Henk Friezer

Close to 6,000 people attended the 14th annual Cruz ‘N For Roses show last Sunday Sept. 16.

With 200 customs, muscle cars on display, Mission Street (closed from Fairs Oaks Avenue to the Gold Line Mission Station) was filled with local residents and visitors from all over San Gabriel Valley and Los Angeles checking out the classic vehicles.

“All I saw was a sea of heads,” said Janet Benjamin, coordinator of the event. “I could not see the cars because there were so many people.”

“When you see how much fun the guys were having showing their cars, seeing families together and the community coming out, it makes it all worthwhile,” she said. “It was one of our best shows.”

“I think it was an overwhelming success and I couldn’t be happier with the way things turned out for the whole event,” said Benjamin.

South Pasadena resident Jack Pettee has been coming to the show for years because of his love for classic cars.

“The attraction is not only the cars but also meeting the people who own them,” he said. “It is kind of fun to see all the different vehicles. And, as an older guy, I really appreciate these cars.”

When asked to choose a favorite, Pettee said “I just love them all.”

J. Caruthers of Pasadena has been a fan of the show for years enjoying the look of classic cars.

“Everybody’s cars looks the same nowadays and these cars all have a different style to them,” she said, adding that her uncle had a 1956 Chevy Cameo at the show.

People like Cleo Watts of Pasadena attended the show for the first time.

“I come here every Sunday to eat at my favorite restaurant, Canoe House, and I noticed something was going on,” she said. “It’s interesting to see all the variety of cars. This is a really cool event and I’m happy I get to see it.”

Steve Powell and his son, Evan, of Pasadena, were “running errands and stumbled on this show so this is our first time here,” he said. “It’s incredible looking at these old-fashioned cars from different decades.”

When asked which car he loved the most, Evan said, “all of them!”

Car owners proudly showed their classic vehicles, interacted with visitors, and often took pictures with them.

This is Jaime Duran’s third year showcasing his four-door 1955 Bel Air that featured a tray in the driver’s window, a popular display.

“I love it when people stop by and ask me questions about the car or even the tray full of memorabilia that brings back memories,” said Duran. “That’s what makes this show cool.”

“I put in a new motor, air conditioning, a lot of work into this car,” he said. “I love this event because the people who walk around are friendly and very respectful.”

Steve Riegel of Burbank brought his blue 1966 Chevy Nova to the show having spent two years fixing it in his garage.

“It’s the car I wanted since I was in high school,” he said.

The bright blue color caught the attention of many people, said his wife, Linda. “The blue color attracts people and everybody comments on how clean the car is.”

Star Car Central brought 15 vehicles based on movies and television shows such as Jurassic Park, Transformers, Back To The Future, The Dukes of Hazzard, Knight Rider, and a Star Wars tribute car, to name a few.

“We have cars from a lot of recognizable movies and TV shows, people love that,” said Alan Douglas, of Star Car Central. “They have to have characters, a certain look that people recognize.”

All proceeds benefit the South Pasadena Tournament of Roses, the organization that funds the oldest self-built float in the parade. This year’s float, which is currently under construction, was on display. It is entitled “Three Little Birds,” featuring three birds perched on top of a guitar, one of several instruments to be featured on the float. The theme for the 2019 Rose Parade is “The Melody of Life.”

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