Calling all anything-with-wheels enthusiasts and families interested in spending the day outside—the opportunity to enjoy all of the above with good food and live music is happening Saturday at Kenlake State Resort Park in Aurora. The Metal Mafia is hosting a car/motorcycle/tractor/off-road show with funds benefitting the Wounded Warrior Project.
Lisa Peck, event organizer, said the event is from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. Registration is open from 10 a.m. until noon and costs $10. She said the judges representing local automotive vendors will be tasked with choosing the winners of 19 trophies for categories including Metal Mafia Choice, Kid’s Choice and the Long Haul. They’ll be looking at tractors, hot rods, trucks, souped up lawn mowers and vintage campers and “anything with wheels.”
But the kids who attend the event will decide who gets the Kid’s Choice award, Peck said. The kids will check in at registration where they will get special treats for roaming the aisles and choosing their wheels of choice.
Peck said the motto for Metal Mafia events is: “If it has wheels, bring it.” That started about six years ago, she said, because so many people with an interest in vehicles were excluded by the specific requirements of other cruise-ins or car shows.
“We may have a kid with a souped up truck he’s wanting to show off or an older gentleman who can’t get in the floorboard anymore and wants to buy a Corvette that doesn’t need any work—all of us have the same hobby, just in a different way,” she explained. “It doesn’t matter what you’ve got—if it has wheels and you’re proud of it, we want you to come to our show.”
The food vendors this year include Texas Roadhouse, The Hitching Post with homemade ice cream, Italian ice and old-fashioned soda, and Sprockets Coffee out of Paris, Tennessee. And the all-day live entertainment will be provided by Metal Mafia member Kalib Swift & Friends.
Peck said the tennis center, which is air-conditioned, will be set up with vendors and registration, but will also provide a cool place to sit and eat lunch or take a break from the heat. They will also have Metal Mafia members cruising the event on golf carts to help those struggling to get around.
When Peck and her husband, Dallas, decided to host a car show this year instead of a cruise-in, she said she wanted the funds to benefit a worthy cause and one that people may not know about—they saw the event as an opportunity to both fundraise and educate the community about a need. During the search, she said a friend pointed her toward the Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) and after conducting research, she knew it was the one.
“If it wasn’t for the veterans, none of us would be sitting here today,” she said. “It’s just unreal what they do at the WWP. If a guy goes to war and loses some limbs and he comes back from war and can’t take care of his family, this kicks in for him and allows him to get with a doctor for prosthetics and that’s just a drop in the bucket. They do all sorts of things. I thought to myself how awful it would be to go and give yourself 100 percent and come back without limbs, and that’s when I decided that’s who we needed to go with.”
But the WWP is not the sole entity benefitting from the event; Peck said the business owners in Aurora have expressed sincere gratitude for the event, saying it drastically increases their business. She said many of the gas stations, restaurants and grocery stores stay open later than normal to accommodate the guests who travel from around the country to participate in the event.
Something new Peck wanted to make sure nobody missed is the dessert auction, which also benefits the WWP. She said a group of women from Paducah are bringing approximately 25 homemade pies and cakes.
Peck said they also have a new design for the t-shirts this year which feature the t-shirt sponsors, event insignia and WWP insignia. And speaking of sponsors, she said, there are so many who’ve made the event happen and donated enough that they’ll be able to draw for door prizes every 30 minutes, beginning at 10:30 a.m.
“We have a ton of sponsors and we appreciate them so much,” she said. “Without them, we couldn’t do any of this.”
The sponsors and daily updates about the event are featured on the ‘Metal Mafia Cruise-In & Events’ Facebook page.
Peck said the weather predictions look favorable, but if it’s rained out will be rescheduled for Oct. 5.