The only thing hotter than the temperatures at the annual Cars and Guitars event Saturday afternoon in Seymour were the cars.
More than 200 vehicles of all makes, models, colors and sizes lined downtown streets for the 12th year of the show.
People came from near and far to enter their cars, trucks or motorcycles and many more people attended to see them. Later in the evening, the crowd gathered on South Chestnut Street for the free Sounds of Summer: Beach Boys tribute band concert.
Unlike other car shows, no awards were presented for the best paint job, interior or engine. Instead, people entering vehicles could win door prizes valued at $100 or more.
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All the money raised from the entry fees, business sponsors, silent auction, raffle and donations goes to Seymour Parks and Recreation Department for the purchase and installation of playground equipment for physically challenged children.
A final total of how much money was raised wasn’t immediately available, but it’s typically around $5,000, organizers said.
So far, equipment has been installed at Shields and Gaiser Parks, and the Cars and Guitars committee along with the parks department board hopes more can be purchased for other parks in the city.
Tawana Watson said she doesn’t know anything about cars but her husband, Tim, enjoys checking them out. That’s why they braved the heat to come downtown Saturday.
“I like seeing all the cars and what people have done to them,” Tim Watson said. “There’s a lot of time and money that goes into it.”
Watson said he preferred the older models to the newer ones.
“I’m attracted to the old Camaros and Impalas,” he added. “I like the originals.”
Although he got rid of all his old cars, Watson said it’s still fun to go to car shows as a spectator.
Brandon Boas of Seymour said his family has been going to Cars and Guitars ever since the first show back in 2004.
He and his dad own 10 cars between them and entered three in this year’s show: a ‘68 Olds 442, an ‘86 Cutlass and an ‘85 Chevy El Camino.
Boas is currently studying automotive mechanics through Ivy Tech in Indianapolis.
This year, he brought his friend, Josh Anderson of Indianapolis, to experience the event.
Anderson said he doesn’t know near as much about the finer details of cars like Boas does, but he can still appreciate a nice car when he sees one.
“That’s what’s great about cars,” Boas added. “You don’t have to know a lot. You don’t have to know what year or what engine it has to like it. For me, I can’t own every car, so I like to go to car shows to look at everyone else’s toys.”
Besides the car show, Boas also said he enjoyed the free concert. His younger sister, Morgan, was serenaded onstage by the members of Sounds of Summer for her 16th birthday.
Taking up several spots downtown were members of the Seymour Area Cruisers, a local car club established in 2014.
Although some of the members have entered the show on their own in the past, this was the first time for them to have big turnout as a club, said president Tom Gray of Seymour.
Although he didn’t have a car entered this year, Gray said he wouldn’t miss an opportunity to get out and talk to other car enthusiasts.
“I like to see people come together in our community and have a good time,” Gray said. “And Cars and Guitars is a great show for a great cause.”
He also used the event to pass out information on another show he is helping organize.
The Fraternal Order of Police Pre-Scoop cruise in and car show will take place from 5 to 8 p.m. Aug. 26, the night before the annual downtown Scoop the Loop event. The Seymour Area Cruisers and This Old Guitar are sponsoring the show.
All proceeds from that show will benefit the FOP’s Cops and Kids program, which helps underprivileged youth in the county.
If he had to pick his favorite vehicle at Cars and Guitars, Gray said it would be a nearly impossible decision to make.
“I like a whole bunch of them, but there’s an orange Roadrunner from Jennings County that’s here and I like it pretty well,” he said.