A festival to celebrate the intricate designs of classic cars, an art form in itself, complimented with barbecue food from local vendors and the sound of live music, is returning to the Oro Valley Marketplace for the 11th consecutive year. The Cruise, BBQ & Blues Festival & Car Show is taking place Saturday, Feb. 16.
A product of the Southern Arizona Arts & Cultural Alliance, the festival aims to highlight the dynamics of classic cars, from the intricate mechanics to the paint jobs and the beauty of classic automobiles.
The appreciation of classic cars and viewing them as an art form is the main goal of this festival/car show, said David Seeber, the marketing coordinator for SAACA.
Some of the cars shown at the festival are classic police trucks, wedge car, and classic barhop cars. Over 200 classic cars and trucks show up to the festival, according to Seeber.
“The car show is really a recognition of blending the beauty of art of a vehicle with the science and mechanics design of it,” he said. “Every part of a car is art.”
Awards are given out to the classic cars, some awards include Best Interior, Best of Show, Best Paint, Best Engine and People’s Choice award.
The people who bring their cars to the show interact with the crowds and share their passion of classic cars with attendees to the festival.
“Everyone really wants to talk about their car, some people got these cars from scrap and built something new out of it and some people had these cars in their family for generations,” Seeber said. “It’s a very open, engaging environment.”
Local food vendors will be at the festival providing the crowd with smells and tastes of BBQ. The festival includes activities for all ages, face painting and bouncy castles for kids to enjoy.
“Even if you aren’t a big car buff, there’s a community here and a beauty that you can connect with,” Seeber said.
Bringing the Oro Valley community together is what the festival is all about, said Oro Valley Mayor Joe Winfield.
“I think events like this are very important for a community to come together and enjoy that face to face interaction,” Winfield said.
Local bands are set to play blues music on the main stage, including Black Cat Bones, Heather “Lil’ Mama” Hardy Band, and Bad News Blues.
According to Winfield, the event not only brings the community out for a weekend festival, but helps the surrounding businesses in the Oro Valley Marketplace area.
“The programming for the Marketplace is one of the elements or keys to the success of bringing people to the Marketplace while they enjoy this particular activity,” Winfield said. “The car show is a favorite for many individuals.”
Cruise, BBQ & Blues will be held at the Oro Valley Marketplace, 12155 N. Oracle Road, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 16. Tickets are $5 for admission, and ages 10 and under enter for free. There is a $1 discount for all veterans and active duty military with a military I.D. Tickets are not sold pre-sale and will be available for purchase at the door for cash only.
Briannon Wilfong is a University of Arizona journalism student and a Tucson Local Media intern.