The Mustang marked 50 years of continuous production in April 2014, and soon Mustang fans will have something else to celebrate. Each year the Mustang Club of America holds four national shows, and this month one of them – the Gateway Southern Stampede – is coming to Columbia County.
“We’ll have 350 cars at the event from all over the country,” says Don Blackstock, president of the CSRA Mustang Club. “We’ll have everything from original 1964 Mustangs to 2015 models.”
Car show entrants will vie for trophies and pride when judges evaluate Mustang models in categories ranging from modern to vintage, Shelby to Boss, racing to cruising.
“We’ll give out 200-plus trophies for the different classes of all the cars,” Blackstock says. “The judges are looking to see how clean your car is, how original you’ve kept it and how you take care of it.”
Southern Stampede patrons will have plenty to do besides admire cars, however. A number of vendors will set up at the event, and they should appeal to a broad range of people. In addition to booths with automobile-related products, others will offer goods such as Tupperware, cosmetics and jewelry. A Saturday Night Banquet, which is open to the community, will feature a Sconyers barbecue dinner and entertainment by comedian Jeff Allen.
Blackstock, who currently owns a 2007 Shelby and a 2015 Mustang convertible, says their durability is one of the features that make the model so popular. “That was one of my first cars when I was in high school, and it lasted throughout,” he says.
Proceeds from the event will benefit the Rebecca Erryn Moon Foundation, a nonprofit organization in Martinez that supports children who have cancer and their families.
“We like our cars,” Blackstock says, “but we love our community.”
If You Go:
What: Gateway Southern Stampede, Mustang Club of America National Show
When: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Friday, May 22 and Saturday, May 23; 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. Sunday, May 24; 7 p.m. – 11 p.m. Saturday Night Banquet
Where: Car show – Columbia County Exhibition Center; banquet – Savannah Rapids Pavilion
How Much: Free admission to car show; banquet tickets are $40 per person
More Info: gatewaysouthernstampede.com