The end of March means many different things to rodders across our country. Folks in the Northeast region are running rich on cabin fever, while Midwesterners can usually start thinking about firing up their rides and taking a cruise around the block for the first time of the season. Left Coasters could be in for rainstorms, mudslides, 'quakes, or possibly even sunshine.
For those lucky enough to be in and around (way around) Texas, the end of March means it's time to load up the family, friends, and dog for a road trip to Austin for the annual Lonestar Rod and Custom Roundup. Now in its fifth year, this low-key, grassroots event has become a must-attend show for traditional rod and custom enthusiasts from well beyond the Texas borders. It's one of those happenings that just has a buzz to it, an atmosphere that many feel is lacking at bigger fairgrounds events. Those who attend once get hooked, and inevitably want to come back for more.
Sponsored by local rod and custom club the Kontinentals, the Roundup was started as an alternative to sterile outdoor shows where the most exciting activity is sitting on lawn chairs. These guys wanted to see the cars in motion, which is why the Roundup starts Friday night on Congress Avenue in the good-vibe area of South Austin. Participants and fans start gathering at The Continental Club and Jo's Coffee for great live music, cruising, and hanging out.
Saturday morning always comes too early, but participants are treated to a breakfast at the Hula Hut before making their way to Festival Beach for the show. This year's official entries were again capped at 500 rides (pre-'63), which huddled into the waterfront park. Many more that missed the entry cap were scattered around the surrounding streets. Far more than just a show 'n' shine, the day at the park includes more live music from first-rate blues and rockabilly artists, plus some great Texas barbecue and other tasty vittles to warm your mouth and fill your tummy.
Saturday evening brings everyone back to South Congress again for more cruising, more music, and more hangin' out. On Sunday, if you don't have a 10-hour drive looming, there's a mellow cruise that takes you to the Ski Shores Waterfront cafff, to gather one more time and regale in stories from the previous nights.
It's easy to see that the Kontinentals have put together a great event that just seems to get more highly anticipated each year. It's definitely worth the drive if you live anywhere close, and even those of you in the winter states should think about gettin' down to Texas to get your fuel pumping and cure your cabin fever. The 2007 show is already scheduled for March 30-April 1, and you can check out www.lonestarroundup.com for more info.