EL CENTRO — Amid venue changes, monsoon winds and driving rain, the La Gente Car Club and friends have certainly weathered the storm to stage their annual La Gente Super Show in 2022.
After a misunderstanding in scheduling and the decision to close the Preble Building for events unrelated to the California Midwinter Fair to the public was made by the County Fair Board over the summer, La Gente has found a new home for its busy Super Show. car show with El Centro Motors, thanks to owner Mike Morris, event organizers said.
The auto club – and the various auto clubs that travel to the event from surrounding areas of the Imperial Valley, Mexicali, Coachella, San Diego, Los Angeles, Arizona and other areas – did not know what Mother Nature was telling them. reserved for the demonstration on the Saturday of the Ides of October (Oct. 15).
“With the change of venue to the fairgrounds, we wanted the show to continue,” said La Gente Car Club president Antonio Camacho.
“When we started installing, the sky was clear and the sun was out. It never rains in the Imperial Valley,” Camacho said, “so we weren’t expecting a monsoon.”
“It was going to be a great show,” he said. “The (El Centro Motors) parking lot was full and we were adjusting.”
Camacho said the morning was going well, with event registrations running from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. “with no threatening clouds.” Doors open at 11 a.m.
Around 100 cars showed up for the display, with around 500 attendees in total.
“They all represented well,” Camacho said of the auto clubs. “That’s the beauty of it: the locals and all the surrounding regions came to represent us.”
“It turned out to be a great day, all the car clubs and solo drivers came out on the day of the show to display their cars, we had the food vendors, the sound equipment…we hoped everything would be fine, but you can’t fool Mother Nature,” Camacho said.
As monsoon rains dumped inches upon inches of rain across the Imperial Valley on Saturday – with wind gusts over 40 mph and at least half an inch of hail, according to weather alerts on October 15 – awnings popups blew out, cars got soaked, with some of them getting lightly damaged; yet auto clubs and some participants persevered, Camacho said.
“Everyone was safe…but we all took a hit,” Camacho said. “There was some damage to paint jobs and equipment, but nothing too major.”
“Overall it was a great show, like we do every year,” he said.
Camacho said the event’s MVPs were taco vendor Catch-22 Fish Tacos, who stayed behind and fed people even when the storm rocked the Super Show with super winds and rain.
“If it wasn’t for them to weather the storm and stay put, we wouldn’t have made it,” Camacho said. “He’s a die-hard food salesman.”
As some began packing up to shelter their cars and families from the storm, it interrupted parts of the event, including some prizes, a resident said.
“Our members stayed back and weathered the storm to clean up so we left business as usual,” the auto club president said. “We picked up a lot of canopy skeletons.”
Camacho said he was grateful to the various auto clubs, individual exhibitors, sponsors and others who came to the waterlogged Super Show later on for their courage and determination to stick with the event despite its turmoil in 2022. .
“I have praise and gratitude for all the motor clubs, too numerous to name,” he said. “I appreciate the people of La Gente doing the right thing and the support the community has given us.”
“I just think everything went well and we hope Mother Nature treats us better next time,” Camacho said. “The Gente Imperial Valley has survived another,” he said.