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Positive Feedback ISSUE 70
november/december 2013


Thunderfest and Music Festival
by Francisco Duran


Saturday October 19th, 2013 Covina California was the site of the annual Thunderfest and Music Festival in Old Town Covina. The event is billed as having Cars, Music Food and Fun. Among the attractions were Classic Street Rods, NHRA dragsters, Live Music throughout downtown, Gourmet food Trucks, Business and Vendor Expo, Beer and Wine garden and an Art Walk. This is the 19th annual show put on by this small city in the east San Gabriel Valley attracting both car buffs and music lovers alike. This year live bands were set up in the street and park along with a DJ to bring Blues and solid golden oldies rock and roll to the festival attendees. People walked through the streets listening to their favorite classics while checking out the many classic cars and trucks. Covina's main drag, Citrus Ave was closed off from Badillo Street to the south to San Bernardino Road to the north which is basically the “Old Town” area for the event.

 Even if you have a passing interest in old cars you could not help but appreciate the care and craftsmanship that went into the restoration of these beautiful automobiles. There were classics like several '32 Ford Model B's hot rodded to the hilt.

There were 60's era pickup trucks that were so clean you could literally eat off of the truck bed. Low riders were represented too sprinkled between a few fully restored to original condition Buicks and Chevys. Walk around a corner and you would almost stumble into a full blown dragster. A few steps down from that a Corvette shared the street with some classic Mustang fast backs. My personal favorites were anything painted red or black with yellow and red flames and there were a few there. There was a fully restored yellow and black '56 Chevy Bel Air that was the spitting image of my Grandpas. Not to be left out a few Corvairs were parked on a side street alongside some pretty cool Detroit muscle cars. Yes I said Corvairs.

With a rock band playing some classic rock on a side street and a blues band blasting their hearts out in the park, showgoers had their pick of some fine tunes that seemed to go perfectly with the cars. If the heat was getting to you, you could always duck into one of the many restaurants that were hosting live music or the Fret House Guitar Shop's basement and catch one of the many blues acts. The great Bernie Pearl was playing in a trio in the basement. I was lucky enough to catch most of his act before catching up to relatives. In past Thunderfest's I have caught such notable bluesmen such as Doug Macleod there.

Just around 6PM folks find out the why they call it Thunderfest. The streets are cleared of people, the headers are uncorked on most of the hot rods, the engines are cranked up and the rods are driven away. This to me is the most exciting part of the festival.

So there is a little something for everybody in this quaint little town in October. The weather is usually fine and the fun meter is cranked to 11. So I hope to see you next year on the streets of Covina.