Car Show Takes On Independent Life

LA MESA -- In what could only be described as a polite, almost tasteful, demonstration of civil disobedience, several classic car owners showed up on Thursday afternoon and parked their cars on La Mesa Boulevard.
"The show is on,'' one of the owners said, sort of defiantly and then sat down in a lawn chair near the former Gingham Restaurant.

As protests go, this was more of a sit-in.
A survey of La Mesa Boulevard at 4 p.m. revealed more than a half dozen other classic car owners had showed up despite the fact that the Back to the 50s Car Show was officially delayed until July 11th by show finances. A few other hotrods motored by.
And an independent survey showed that only five of the six classic car owners had put money in the parking meters!
"The city is screwing the merchants,'' one car owner explained. "There's no reason they should have to pay anything to put this show on. Look, this is the show. We park there, we sit here. What's with all the costs?"

These car aficionados were feeling in a feisty mood and sounded a bit more like classic bikers at times, but there was no marching or placards or prominent tattoos, for that matter. 
The La Mesa Village Merchants Association delayed the traditional first-Thursday-in-June start of the annual car show because it didn't have the funds to cover the costs the city charges them for shutting off streets and supplying extra security.
That has caused some frustration for car owners from throughout East County who turn the quaint avenue into a weekly American Graffiti scene and use the gatherings as a reason to sit on a street with friends and chat. 
In a moment of bravery, these car owners said they're coming back every Thursday anyway. It'll be car show untethered, which, it turns out, looks a lot like car show tethered.

The show, it turns out, must go on.

 Click here for earlier, background story.

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Tags: La Mesa Back to the '50s Car Show, La Mesa Today, La Mesa Village Merchants Association, La Mesa business, La Mesa news, San Diego car shows


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Comment by Kevin G George on June 17, 2013 at 8:36am

So you RSVPed and THEN realized it would be loud and smelly and didn't go?

Rude, but not surprising.

Comment by Sara Kazemi on June 16, 2013 at 4:22am

Kevin: I actually didn't go for the same reasons cited below. GET OF MY LAWN, OLD PEOPLE.

Comment by Kevin G George on June 14, 2013 at 9:04am

Gosh Sara, now I'm confused.

Isn't this your RSVP to the Laser Tag event put on by the Back to the 50s Car Show back on July 23, 2011?

Evidently it's not smelly or loud enough to deter you from soaking up some of the benefits.

Relax, your time is coming, soon you will be old enough to yell " Get off my lawn!" 

Comment by Sara Kazemi on June 13, 2013 at 9:20pm

I'm confused. Was the quoted individual really asserting that he had the right to not pay any costs because he was merely parking and sitting there? That makes no sense. I've been driven away from spending money at any of the establishments on that stretch of La Mesa Blvd because the car show was there. It's loud and smelly. Go do it in a parking lot -- not in front of coffee shops and such where people want to eat and hang out with friends without inhaling exhaust and hearing a lame blown out PA system blasting obnoxious oldies.

Comment by Bill Jaynes on June 13, 2013 at 7:59pm

Just so everyone knows, the delay had nothing to do with the City, the Police Chief, or any other official. The start date was purely a decision by the Merchants Association.

Comment by Bill Jaynes on June 13, 2013 at 7:45pm

I'd like to thank everyone who has shown up to support us. It's heartening to see how much goodwill has been built up across decades of work by Merchant Association members past and present to enhance the "Village experience."

The costs are what they are, and as far as I'm concerned, the LMVMA made a responsible choice in the current economic climate. Let's hope everyone helps make the next few weeks a safe, fun, peaceful event--let's generate some data for next year's negotiations!

And please, please, pay the meters. Remember, "Your Parking Fees Fund Downtown Improvements"!

Bill Jaynes


619 464 2298

Comment by La Mesa Today on June 13, 2013 at 7:34pm

Sorry Joniene. Should have linked it for you. Show starts July 11. Link added to story now.

Comment by Joniene Swick on June 13, 2013 at 5:49pm

Finally found the link:

June 27th, the show is back on?

Comment by Joniene Swick on June 13, 2013 at 5:47pm

This Thursday or last Thursday? 

Why did the City delay? 

Does one have more information about the actual car show? I have friends who think it's not going at all. Sounds like the Chamber of Commerce needs to be contacted so people actually know what's going on this year, or this article can elaborate more about the current facts. I have an old car that I am fixing up and plan to come down too.  I planned on definitely inviting friends and family down to the area! 

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