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Windsor Lowrider Car Show & Taco Fest celebrates Latino community

First event, held at Town Green, will benefit nonprofit Somos Windsor.|

This weekend’s inaugural “Windsor Lowrider Car Show & Taco Fest” at the Town Green was a family affair for many.

Michelle Lemos, 44, of Windsor, and her grown children, her grandchild and friends showed up to the event to support her husband Joe’s car club, The Filthies.

With car show admission, the Lemoses scored a good price on a taco package that included six tacos and a margarita, purchased from their pick of trucks parked along Market Street.

“We normally have a really cool car — a 1954 Chevy lowrider — to enter but it’s having its upholstery redone, so we brought an old-timey utility truck with a truck bed,” Lemos said during Saturday’s event. “It has a 7UP cooler in the back from the same era — the ‘50s, I think.”

The couple own and operate Greer Beverage Co. in Santa Rosa, which has been located at the same spot since 1951.

Mireya Montenegro, 24, of El Paso, Texas, has visited relatives in the area for the past 19 years. On Saturday, she attended the event with her grandfather, who proudly displayed a well-appointed antique Chevrolet truck named, Purple Rain.

“The tacos were very delicious,” she said after lining up to buy a refreshing Michelagua drink with chamoy, a sweet, savory and spicy sauce made from a variety of pickled fruits flavored with chiles.

The event, sponsored by nonprofit Somos Windsor, joins the monthly summer “El Mercadito de Windsor on the Town Green,” which also was launched this year along with the annual “Dia de los Muertos Windsor” festival and other Latino cultural events.

Proceeds from the taco fest and lowrider show will be used to help put on those other events, said Angelica Nuñez who, with Sonja Vasquez and a team of volunteers, organized the festival. Both are members of the Somos Windsor board.

The festival and market were launched to celebrate the Windsor Latino community, its foods, arts and culture and share them with the wider community, Nuñez said before the event.

“We want to create bridges and celebrate the diversity in our community, and at the same time support local businesses,” she said.

People filled the park, enjoying food on picnic tables, lining up for wrist bands to purchase drinks or browsing booths featuring food along with model cars, toys and skin care products. El Mercadito artists and artisans sold clothes, jewelry and leather goods.

At the Lowrider Car Show, with cars parked at various streets surrounding the Green, people sipped their beers and surveyed vehicles. Stereos played loudly, as kids blew bubbles and at 6:27 p.m., it was a breezy 85 degrees.

Ariana Vasquez, whose husband, Danny, both of Healdsburg, shoed his light blue 1965 Chevrolet El Camino, described the car as “the baby of the family.”

“I’m the wife who supports his hobbies,” Ariana joked.

Windsor Council member Rosa Reynoza and the town’s Police Chief Mike Raasch served as taco judges. The festival featured chefs from 11 restaurants, food trucks and catering companies from across northern Sonoma County.

At the Town Green Main Stage, a youth band called Razberry played a variety of music, including some selections by alt-rock band Weezer.

Evan Parker, 39, a registered nurse who has lived in Windsor for five years, and his friend’s son, Titan Estep, 13, enjoyed the music.

“These guys (musicians) are around age 16 and they play guitar better than I ever did,” Parker said.

A vendor of homemade jewelry brought her brother to see the lowrider show along with her dog, Tillin.

“I like the old-school classic cars,” said Juan Sanchez, 17, of Santa Rosa. Araseli Sanchez, 26, also of Santa Rosa, said her booth displaying her handmade beaded and wire-wrap jewelry had been “really busy.”

You can reach Staff Writer Kathleen Coates at kathleen.coates@pressdemocrat.com or 707-521-5209.

Kathleen Coates

Windsor and Cloverdale, The Press Democrat 

As someone who grew up in a small town, I enjoy covering what's happening in Windsor and Cloverdale, which are growing in their own unique ways.  I delve into issues by getting to know people and finding out what’s going on in the community. I also pay attention to animal welfare and other issues that affect Sonoma County.

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