Mark Houlahan
Tech Editor, Mustang Monthly
April 19, 2010

The 16th Annual Silver Springs Ford & Mustang Roundup Sixteen years is a long time for anything these days, but we're constantly amazed at the flyers we receive here at the office for shows all across the country that are well into the double digits for their annual show. A successful show isn't easy to come by. You have to have a nice location, a good date on the calendar (you know how many shows are scheduled for Father's Day weekend every year?), and a well-organized staff of club members or employees to handle the logistics. A big show (we're talking 200 or more cars) can't be handled by just one person. Just because a show has a "show chairperson" doesn't mean that they are responsible for everything. No, delegation is the keyword and it takes several people to do it right-someone to handle registration, someone to handle vendors, and so forth. Day of show is a whole 'nother monster with lines of cars that need to be run through registration and parked in a timely manner. No one wants to sit in a line overheating just to get into a car show. Not even me!

Why are we prefacing an event report with all of this? Well, for one it is the beginning of the show season and we wanted to remind all those club members out there that your show chair can't do it alone, but most of all, when it comes to the annual Silver Springs Ford & Mustang Roundup at Silver Springs Park in Silver Springs, Florida, and hosted by our good friends at National Parts Depot we just have to say-they get it right. From registration through to parking well over 1,000 cars (usually) into a theme park in barely two hours, the show runs like a well oiled machine. Of course after 16 years they've got it down pat and have seen and overcome any issue you can think of, but one area no show chairperson has ever been able to control is the weather. We've been up the night before a show praying to the rain gods to pick another weekend, so we know firsthand what many of you go through. Unfortunately it wasn't rain (though we've fought that off in the past too at Silver Springs) but an unbelievably cold weekend that hampered the show this year. Sure, January is still technically winter for much of the country, but down here in Florida it's often in the high 60s during the day; darn near shorts weather for many. But a cold front, a record-setting one at that, where Floridians saw snow as far south as Miami for the first time in three decades meant dealing with temps that barely crept into the 30s and show cars in hotel parking lots with a dusting of snow on them.

All in all, it was indeed a cold weekend for many, and that ultimately affected the event's car count. In speaking with Rick Schmidt, Vice President of NPD, he told us that the average pre-show registration numbers are usually in the mid 1,500s and that he believed this show was around 1,700 cars preregistered (NPD graciously pays for the first 1,000 car entries out of its own pockets as hosts of the event). When the dust settled, or should we say, when the snow melted, the final car count was but 630 brave and hearty souls that spent the weekend trying to stay warm with coffee, hot chocolate, and even their car's heater at times. While we bundled up and did our best to keep warm, we were enthused to see a great group of die-hard Ford and Mustang enthusiasts spend their weekend together. After all these years this is maybe the third time we've had a really cold visit to Silver Springs, but we've also heard some talk of moving the event to February and warmer weather. Whenever the show is held in 2011, we'll be sure to let our readers know so plans can be made by all.

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