By Justin Cox
Killeen Daily Herald
The lot at the Killeen Special Events Center was filled Saturday with the sights, smells and sounds of the Diez y Seis de Septiembre Festival, put on by Chapter 4535 of the League of United Latin American Citizens.
Diez y Seis de Septiembre marks the launch in 1810 of Mexico's struggle for independence from Spain.
In addition to the savory treats offered by local vendors, some Killeen youth showed off their rides in the lot at the car show. Some of the vehicles had tricked-out suspensions and sound systems; others had their hoods popped to show off their classy interiors.
One of those participating was a guy who just liked to be called Mack 10. He showed off his baby blue 1960 Chevy Impala. Around Mack 10's car were trophies and flowers, a typical showing for the man who was showing off his ride, named "My Blessing," for the 12th time this year.
He said he has always loved classic cars, growing up around auto shows in Phoenix, Ariz.
"I've always been around old, classic cars since I was a kid," Mack 10 said. "But I always wanted a show car, so I got myself a show car. So it doesn't matter if it's a show like this, a car show in Dallas, I always set it up to the fullest. 'Cause it's not about just going to a show, it's not about the trophies; it's about people coming up and looking at it, 'cause they love these cars. ? I've put about six years (into it)."
It's his baby, and working on it has been a release valve, so to speak; it allows him to get away from other, less enjoyable things in his life.
Speaking of getting away, Killeen Councilman Juan Rivera showed up, decked out in his bike gear as he rode in on his motorcycle. He got a chance to catch up with Mayor Tim Hancock, who spoke of the success groups such as LULAC have had in putting on festivals such as this, in its second rendition.
The master of ceremonies was another man with a colorful monicker. DJ Lowrider has been a staple of LULAC events for years. The man, who also goes by Robert Hernandez, celebrated the success of Saturday's festivities as a member of the LULAC council, which includes chairperson Ana Luisa Tapia, Janie Cano, Michelle Dekle, Anthony Rodriguez, Julia Villaronga, Raul Villaronga and Maria Villareal.
DJ Lowrider said it's a great event, one he hopes to continue to be a part of for several years in Killeen.
"We get together every year and get the committee completely involved in this," he said.
"We enjoy what LULAC represents, the Latino culture and, of course, raising funds for scholarships."
DJ said he loved the cars on display on the front end of the parking lot and would have enjoyed getting his retro ride out there as well. But, well, it wasn't quite ready.
"As a matter of fact, mine's over here, but it wasn't ready for the car show," he said, laughing.
Contact Justin Cox at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7568.