Over the years I have attended dozens of free events sponsored by the Bixby Knolls Business Improvement Association (BKBIA). One of the first was dubbed “Boot Scoot’n” and it featured a western-themed street fair with music, food, vendors and entertainment. From there on, the events became bigger and better, including a winter “snow” event that took place annually for quite a few years. For the last five years the Bixby Knolls Atlantic Avenue retail corridor has been privileged to be the site for the BKBIA’s Dragster Expo & Car Show.
This year’s event was the best one yet. The weather was perfect, the cars were amazing, the crowd was well behaved and there was even available parking. BKBIA’s executive director Blair Cohn reported that he too was pleased with Saturday’s event and praised the various sponsors, including our local airport. “The Long Beach Airport stepped up as a major sponsor of the Bixby Knolls Dragster Expo & Car Show this year. [They] sponsored the 15-foot LED screen that featured footage of vintage drag racing from Lions Drag Strip and the history of the NHRA [National Hot Rod Association],” said Cohn.
I loved the big-screen show and also got a kick out of the roaming/rolling gals who make up our local roller derby team– including my neighbor Libby.
Planning to attend the car show anyway, Steve and I were honored to be asked to participate as judges. Going out on our own seemed to be the way to go as Steve walks too fast and I tend to visit with folks along the way. After completing our judging duties, we compared notes and were not surprised to find that we chose completely different cars as our top three favorites. Oh, well– they say opposites attract!
Although the winners were not to be announced for several days (and we are still waiting for the news), we did have the chance to witness one of the trophies being awarded. Mario Rodriguez, director of the Long Beach Airport, presented his “Director’s Award” to John Knatz, owner of a 1957 coral-colored Thunderbird. Rodriguez chose the car as his favorite entry of the entire show. After taking a few photos, I had a chance to compare notes with the airport director. We got a big laugh out of discovering that we had chosen the same three cars as our favorites– we just had our first two choices in the opposite order.
Other free summer car shows, concerts, movies and events are happening in our area for your (and my) low-budget entertainment pleasure. And speaking of free stuff, don’t forget about Edison’s free lamp exchange this Saturday and Sunday in the Kmart parking lot at 2900 Bellflower Blvd. All you have to do is bring in up to ten old lamps in working condition (with light bulbs but without shades) and trade them in for new energy-efficient lamps.
The new lamps are free, and you’ll find an array of halogen torchieres and desk, table and floor lamps available for trade. Last time they offered the program, Steve and I picked up three beautiful lamps– one table lamp (in my office now), a desk lamp and a floor lamp. They are just beautiful– go for it! For details call (800) 865-6483 or check out scelampexchange.com.