This Saturday from 3 p.m. - 9 p.m., Long Beach is hosting the 6th Annual Dragster Expo and Car Show in the growing and thriving area of the city known as Bixby Knolls, specifically along the Atlantic corridor. Although Bixby Knolls has been getting a lot of series coverage regarding redistricting lately, this time it's in the news for a more fun and exciting reason.
I was able to catch up with Bixby Knolls Business Improvement Association Executive Director Blair Cohn to get some questions answered about this year's car show. It wasn't easy, not because he's hard to get a hold of, but because we were sparring last weekend and I didn't come out as victorious and I would've liked to - so I had to put my pride aside and call this guy. I guess. All day.
Anyways, the first thing I wanted to know was what was the biggest difference from last year's event and this years event.
"Well not only is the event organized by a woman, Councilwoman Gabelich, but now she's bringing in the first lady of drag racing, Shirley Muldowney," said Cohn, "We're flying her in from Michigan and she'll be sitting in her car which is a restored dragster that hasn't been fired up in over 25 years. Also, we're expecting about 10,000 people throughout the day."
With a BMX component added to this year's show, the legendary Lions Drag Strip being honored inside the Expo building, and extending the car show down to Atlantic and Rosevelt, this was a sign that the organizers knew this year there was going to be more people.
"I think it's (the car show) naturally going to grow. Our social media has really been able to put out the event and we've been able to advertise more than ever before. But importantly, the neighborhood is excited for it to be here. I can't imagine that wouldn't have a larger draw (than last year)," said Cohn.
With so many people putting in an effort to make this event a successful one I was interested to know Blair's specific role in the whole process.
"Well first of all, I'm trying to keep things same. Events are my background, so I'm trying to see the big picture and help with the organization," said Cohn, " So that means we start at the top level and then drill down to see what else needs to be done. It's like herding cats. You have to make sure all the little details are lined up."
Aside from having the cars and the residents being a major part in this event, Blair explained how the businesses of Bixby Knolls' are playing an important role. Oh yea, I would like to mention that 562CityLife is having a booth tomorrow, where we will be selling t-shirts and other cool things and we will have a BK Prize package that includes giveaways from businesses in Bixby Knolls.
"The first thing we do is send an invitation to all members of the BKBIA, encouraging them to be a vendor, or give coupons away for the goodie band and of course be a sponsor. We want to engage people and not just have them in the street, but we want them to know about the businesses too. We're starting to hear from people we haven't from in years," Cohn explained.
Tomorrow's event will have 250 show cars, dragsters with original cars and drivers, showcasing some of Long Beach's racing history. I'm excited to hit up this event and take some cool photos and sell some fresh new 562CityLife T-shirt designs. Be sure to stop by our booth and see what we have to offer.
Have you been to any of the previous car shows? Are you into dragsters? What do you think about the dragster car culture? Is this the first time you heard of the dragster car expo? Let it be known below!