The 3rd Annual All-Firebird Lawn Show, hosted by the Saratoga Automobile Museum in Saratoga Springs, New York, promised to be bigger and better than previous shows. There were more trophies and sponsor awards, more food, and more volunteer staff. Permits were signed, dashplates were ready, goodie bags were stuffed, and raffle prizes were on deck. Special Olympics Saratoga athletes were chomping at the bit with giveaway ribbons and trophies. It seemed nothing could dampen the spirits of founders Tom and Sandy Smith, co-founder Keith Fuerst, Saratoga Auto Museum Director of Special Events Alan Edstrom, judges, parking attendants, cooks, salespeople, registration workers, and more than 100 preregistered Firebird hobbyists. Well, almost nothing, except a weather forecast of thunderstorms.
For the first time in its three-year history, the show organizer (your author) declared the Saturday, July 9, 2005, event would be rescheduled to the next day. Hundreds of e-mails went out on July 8, calling for a one-day delay. Phone calls poured in non-stop from all over New York and New England. Some were disappointed, many were happy, and most were thankful. Sunday rewarded everyone with high, scattered clouds and some sun while temperatures hovered in the mid-80s with low humidity.
The event went off without a hitch thanks to the weather and great sponsors like Year One and Ames Performance Engineering, who gave goodie-bag packages to all participants. RockAuto.com, Apple Hydraulics, Hair Connection, the Drive-In Movie Store of Saratoga, Pizza Time of Saratoga, and Special Olympics Saratoga provided the raffle and door prizes.
Pepsi distributors of Latham donated bottled water and Pepsi products, Gregg Christon and Sabrett donated hot dogs, while Saratoga grocers Price Chopper and Hannaford Brothers donated hot dog buns and trimmings. NYRA and the Saratoga Race Course donated horse racing theme caps and T-shirts. Attendees and spectators purchased Special Olympics tie-dyed T-shirts and full color event T-shirts produced by Northwind Graphics of Malta. Ralph Mangino Jr. from Mangino Pontiac sponsored full-color dash plaques to registered show participants and a "Dealer's Choice" trophy.
Special Olympics athletes Brian Smith, Todd Byron, and Rick Dunn chose the "Favorite 25 Firebirds" for award ribbons, as well as the "Athletes' Choice" Firebird, while athlete DJ Nolan picked winning raffle tickets and awarded prizes to lucky ticket holders. On the show field, several clubs were represented as well, including Charter Oaks Firebirds from Connecticut and Firebirds Forever Car Club from Massachusetts and New Hampshire.
In the end, the show was declared a huge success. Despite use of a rain date, 93 beautiful Firebirds showed their style, and more than $3,200 was raised for Special Olympics Saratoga.
The 4th Annual All-Firebird Lawn Show is scheduled for Saturday, July 8, 2006, from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m., with a rain date scheduled for Sunday, July 9, 2006. The show will be held at the Saratoga Auto Museum in Saratoga Springs, New York. All funds raised will benefit Special Olympics Saratoga. For more information, contact Tom and Sandy Smith at (518) 587-8215, Keith Fuerst at (518) 272-2626, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pictures from the '05 show are available at http://community.webshots.com/user/ts_in_ss_ny.
Among F-Body Pontiacs from...
Among F-Body Pontiacs from Canada was this beautiful Trans Am--with California tags? We didn't ask!
One of the Third-Gen cars...
One of the Third-Gen cars that drew interest was this black and gold aftermarket conversion '84 Trans Am convertible.
Despite the inevitable attrition...
Despite the inevitable attrition caused by invoking a rain date, 93 Firebirds flocked to Saratoga Springs on Sunday, July 10. Some arrived Friday night, despite weather that was favorable only to ducks, geese, and trailer queens.
Rarely seen but making a Saratoga...
Rarely seen but making a Saratoga appearance was this clean '88 Pontiac Hellfire Tojan with less than 12,000 miles. Owner Michael Kaidas from Cleverdale, New York, reports his car is one of approximately 250 made.