Monday, September 9, 2013

Going North....

Sunday we launched from Stafford at 5AM….yup in the dark!  This would be the fourth year we have attended this show and as with many successful events like this, people know you must arrive early to get the parking place you want.  And each year the “arrival time” moves up a little because you are not the only one that knows you must arrive early.  When we first attended this event we got there about 7:30….Sunday we got there at 6:20 and there were already 35 cars parked!  We had to park down the street further than we ever had done before but in the end it was ok.  The organizers mercifully placed the loud speakers far enough away from us that we could carry on a normal conversation while the music was playing.  The new location also had trees….sap dropping trees but still trees that kept us in the shade till near the end of the event!  The sap is water degradable and will be gone when we detail the car this week.

This event is growing and this year 150+ entrants made it a record year….and the variety of the vehicles keeps improving too.  The AARP gang runs the deal like a watch and when they say the awards will begin at 2:30….you can set your watch by that!  The Roller Derby girls skate around to the participants and take food orders, and then bring the food to you!  The D.J. has a great play list and he could not have picked a better “work” ride, it just fits!  The recipient of the proceeds, James Mason Nursing Students, stroll around offering to take your blood pressure, making sure people were hydrating by giving water out, answering health questions and generally provide a presence to thank the attendees for coming to the event.  There is a group of singers, The Chorus of the Old Dominion, that provide acapella singing of period music that is always welcome and in the afternoon there is 50’s dancing in the street!  How cool is that?
The awards are determined by participant AND spectator voting.  This is frustrating to car people because the spectators usually don’t know much about the vehicles we drive.  They don’t know the work and dollars that goes into all of the vehicles or the different disciplines involved.  From rat rods, customs, full restoration muscle cars and antiques and street rods.  They don’t know the rarity of some of the vehicles either….  So for the participants it’s kind of questionable to have spectators join in the voting….but I have seen more of this kind of process this year than any time before.  It gets the spectators involved and allows them to confirm what they like with their vote.  And it’s easier for the organizers in that they don’t have to respond to people that thought their vehicle deserved to be recognized over the ones that did….it’s a tough balance but the process is not popular with some.
The only other thing I didn’t care for was the restroom facilities….they were marginal in the morning and unusable by the afternoon.  For an event of this caliber the restroom facilities need to be better.  The one shop, an ice cream store, was inundated with people needing to use their restroom facilities.  I’m sure they sold some ice cream to the people that felt guilty using their restroom but there were many that did not buy anything.  The organizers have to consider the cliental….we’re not country bumpkins that don’t have indoor plumbing….we know.  This issue pretty much ruined the day for me.

AARP will be giving the management duties to the Rotary beginning next year….The AARP has done a great job of bringing this kind of event to Herndon….thanks for the memories.


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