North Texas Daily

Arts & Autos carries on tradition

Arts & Autos carries on tradition

Arts and Autos 2016. Cierra Edmondson

Arts & Autos carries on tradition
September 13
16:02 2016

Imagine being able to sit in a classic Mustang, coming across an antique one-of-a-kind piece or having the opportunity to display your own art, whether on a canvas or on a car.

Welcome to Denton’s Arts and Autos Extravaganza.

This past Saturday, Dentonites gathered together to enjoy the 17th annual Arts and Auto’s Extravaganza hosted by the Denton Main Street Association. The cars, whether new, revamped or vintage, were the focal point of the event.

Originally called Arts, Antiques & Autos, the inspiration behind the affair started with an event called The Great Race that took place in Denton in June 1999. Before the establishment of Interstate 35, what is now known to locals as the Square was the main road for cars of all makes and models. In a 15-minute pit stop that took place in Denton during the race, thousands of people once gathered just to catch glimpses of the cars.

Since its start 17 years ago, the event is a sort of homage to all the types of vehicles that passed through the area during that time. Realizing how many fans and admirers the antique cars had, the Main Street Association wanted to give the community an event that demonstrated and encouraged that love, while also incorporating local artists and musicians.

“It’s a really great annual event for us to focus on the Main Street program,” said Christine Gossett, event coordinator of the Denton Main Street Association. “It also gives the community a way to showcase all the things that make a downtown area vibrant and fun.”

According to Gossett, Arts and Autos was originally held in October, but because Denton experiences high volumes of rain during that time, it was moved to September. This is done mostly to benefit the cars, as many of them are antiques dating back to the 1900’s. This year’s event showcased a total of about 140 vehicles. When the weather permits it, the Main Street Association says it can expect anywhere from 200 to 230 cars to show up for the show.

“My 6-year-old son loves old cars, and I wanted to give him this opportunity to experience an old car show and at the same time to have some fun family time. We were excited about the idea of going to visit Denton downtown and the car exhibit,” attendee Ana Paula Parker said. “The event benefits the community by providing an opportunity for people to interact, promote their business and to invite people to know more about Denton and its history.”

Besides showing various makes and models of cars, Arts and Autos holds a “Best in Show” event that awards vehicles in three classes: cars, trucks and motorcycles. Additionally, the Extravaganza features a “Chalk Fest” in which locals of all ages can register to create chalk murals along the Denton Square.

With the exception of extending the closed roads for chalk artists, not much about the event has changed over the years. The DMSA is still able to secure vendors, Denton antique shops and local artists and musicians to come to the event. The 17 years of tradition and artistry that is the Arts & Autos Extravaganza doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon.

“I come from a big city, so we don’t typically have a lot of events like that,” biology freshman Giselle Gutierrez said. “My parents will be coming up here soon and hopefully they’ll be having another one of those again.”

Featured Image: Arts and Autos Extravaganza 2016. Cierra Edmondson

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Cierra Edmondson

Cierra Edmondson

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