By Cassandra Penalver
Starting July 7, the city of La Mesa will be welcoming back the long-running Classic Car & Bike Show. The showcase meetup will run for a total of eight weeks, every Thursday from 5 to 8 p.m., concluding on Aug. 25.
La Mesa has been home to this classic car show for 23 years and many are looking forward to its return to the city after its yearlong hiatus in 2015.
Jack Leary, who performs under the moniker Jump’n Jack Flash and was a DJ for the car shows for over 20 years, took over management of the shows three years ago for the La Mesa Village Merchant Association. Leary moved out to San Diego from Kansas City in 1990 where he started his mobile music business. He then spoke with the La Mesa Village Merchant Association who hired him as their resident DJ for over two decades. Aside from being a DJ, Leary is also a Wolfman Jack and Hank Williams impersonator. This year, in junction with the city of La Mesa, Leary will be hosting the shows.
Show-goers can expect to see many updates and changes this year compared to past car shows. For starters, Third Street will have 10 to 14 spaces for car clubs. Also, Leary said that three rock and roll DJs were hired to contribute to the 1950s-60s feel of the shows. DJ Crazy Steve, Mike on the Mic, and Bill Diego will be playing oldies music at La Mesa at Palm, the Yogurt Mill, and the old Don Keating car lot.
There will also be upgrades in trophies this year, Leary said. One trophy will be awarded to the best motorcycle, the other five will be presented to cars.
“I’ll present the Jump’n Jack Flash Award to one of the crazier cars,” Leary said.
Another award will be given by the La Mesa Police Department, and the final three trophies will be awarded by the city or various sponsors.
Leary said he prides the shows on being welcoming for everyone.
“This is an event for all ages. The music played are songs that everyone can sing along to,” he said.
The event area in the Village has a lot to offer attendees — local restaurants, cafes, antique stores, and shops in addition to the car clubs that participate. Leary also said that community members love the La Mesa location because they feel as though they actually transported back to the 1950s and 1960s, not just because of the show itself, but because the streets are lined with trees, which add to the old-school ambiance.
This year, each Thursday night will have something new and exciting to offer while continuing to have the traditional classic theme — not to mention, it’s a great way to get out of the house during the week.
Grab your family and friends and cruise on down for dinner, shopping, or even participate in the car and bike showcase. This event is ideal for those looking to network with new people with similar interests, or for those who want to take a break, relax, and be taken to a simpler time.
—Çassandra Penalver is a freelance writer and reporter living in San Diego. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.