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MEXICAN HERITAGE ALIVE ON PICO: Chevys Rule at Cinco de Mayo Car Show

Cinco de Mayo came to Virginia Avenue Park a day late, but with no loss of exuberance. An estimated 1,000 people and close to 100 classic cars gathered on Sunday afternoon, May 6, for music, dancing, art, food, games and the Pico Classic Car Show.

Performance artist Maria Elena Gaitan presided as emcee for entertainment that included the Oaxacan children’s dance group Sha Dany (Zapotec for “Danza de la Pluma,” or “Feather Dance”), a group of Santa Monica and Venice residents who are direct descendents of the Zapotecs, instructed by Ricardo Gutierrez. Also performing was Folklorico de SMC, dance students from Santa Monica College under the direction of Judith Douglas.

The fiesta was sponsored by the City, Virginia Avenue Park and the Pico Passport, a program of the Pico Improvement business district. Pico Artists at Work – painters, photographers and sculptors from Pico Boulevard – were on display. Food was served by Mama’s Hot Tamales and Cha Cha Chicken.

Santa Monica resident Big Gene stands by his 1948 Chevrolet Stylemaster. – Danza de la Pluma (Dance of the Feather), performs a traditional dance of Oaxacan culture, which tells the story of Cinco de Mayo. The dancers live in Santa Monica and Venice. – Keith Kaucher in his 1954 Ford Victoria. Kaucher is a Santa Monica resident and owner of Santa Monica-based Kaucher Kustoms. – Mariachi Voz de America was the opening act of the afternoon. photos by Jesse Grebler-Hull

“The Pico Car Show was a great new addition that we will be sure to bring back next year,” said Betty Macias, program analyst for the City’s Human Services Division. The Pico Classic Car Show winners were: 1st Place to Carlos Cornejo, 1960 Chevrolet Impala convertible; 2nd Place to Al Vinegas, 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air convertible; 3rd Place to Tony Martin, 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air convertible; and the People’s Choice Award voted on by event attendees went to Andrew Gomez for his 1948 Chevrolet Fleetline Aero sedan.

This coming Saturday, May 12, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. in downtown Culver City (Washington Boulevard and Helms Avenue) is the 4th Annual George Barris Cruisin’ Back to the 50’s Culver City Car Show. “This is the biggest car show on the Westside…so don’t miss it!” said SMPD Lt. Alex Padilla as he drove away from Virginia Avenue Park in his black 1958 Chevrolet Impala convertible.

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