Shore car show 2018 crowd

Thousands of people walk Second Street last September during the 29th annual Belmont Shore Car Show.

Second Street in Belmont Shore will be jammed with cars at a standstill this Sunday.

That's a good thing according to Dede Rossi, Belmont Shore Business Association executive director. It is the 30th annual Belmont Shore Car Show.

Billed as one of the biggest car shows in Southern California, the event has boasted more than 450 cars and tens of thousands visitors in past years. The 2019 version is shaping up to be just as big, Rossi said.

"Car registrations are going well," Rossi said. "There were more than 300 the other day, and I think 25 vendors. A couple of big sponsors stepped up this year, and we're in good shape."

Browning Automotive Group and Cardinal Paint both agreed to be presenting sponsors and several other sponsors stepped up, Rossi said. The show appeared in jeopardy early this year because of finances.

The year before, a change in organizing groups saved the car show. The Bay City Rodders, a car club that had run the show for several years, pulled out. Darrell Gilbert, a Belmont Shore resident, stepped up with his AK Darcy Shows to handle logistics.

But this is an expensive event to put on, with street closures, event permits, security and more. That prompted Rossi's call for sponsors early this year.

With crowds of up to 50,000 visiting the Belmont Shore business district on one day, there were plenty of reasons to keep the show alive — introducing or reintroducing people to the attraction of Second Street shopping and dining.

Like so many events in Long Beach, the Car Show is a big production with a small-town feel.

"Wilson High School's track team is set to be here to sell water," Rossi said. "It pretty much pays for their program for the year… We're looking forward to a fun day, a great day."

Second Street will be closed at 5 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 8, from Livingston Drive to Bay Shore Avenue, although Bay Shore itself will remain open. Side streets on both sides of Second will be closed to the alley.

All Second Street businesses and restaurants are expected to be open through the day Sunday. Portable toilets will be placed on many of the side streets — most businesses reserve restrooms for customers.

Car owners can sign up to show their cars at www.belmontcarshow.com, and registrations will be accepted on the day of the event. The show is free to attend.

Parking is free at Marine Stadium, but the meters will be working at the beach parking lots. Parking in the residential areas of Belmont Shore is discouraged.

Second Street and all side streets will reopen at 5 p.m. Sunday. For more information, call 562-434-3066 or go to belmontshore.org.

Harry has been executive editor of Gazette Newspapers for more than 26 years. He has been in the newspaper business for more than 35 years, with experience on both weekly and metropolitan daily papers in Colorado and California.

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