On the weekend of March 16th-18th, hundreds upon hundreds of modern Mopars rolled into the Irvine, California area for the 12th annual Spring Festival of LX’s meet, also known as “Spring Fest” for short as its more commonly called. Every March for the past 12 years, hundreds of Challengers, Chargers, Magnums, 300s, Grand Cherokee SRT8s and other various modern Mopars flood the streets of Irvine, California for the biggest modern Mopar meet on Earth!
It doesn’t get much bigger than this! Every variance of modern Mopar you could imagine made an appearance. Colors ranging from Brilliant Black to Green Go to Hemi Orange with tons of reds and blues and everything else in between! Every power plant was covered from the 2.7L V6 to the famous 6.2L Supercharged Hellcat Hemi.
Originally started as a group of south California car enthusiasts getting together to hang out, their first meet in 2004 consisted of only four vehicles. The next meet in 2005 quickly grew to approach 100 vehicles. Starting in 2006, it surpassed 300 vehicles with participants from all over the US and Canada. This event has grown every year since and continues to grow!
Last year’s turnout was the biggest on record with around 1,200 cars registered, breaking the record from the year before and this year broke that record once more with 1,485 cars registered total! It’s pretty outstanding considering the event is entirely pre-registration based. There is absolutely no day of registrations or off the street spectators allowed. Where most events show signs of slowing after numerous years, Spring Fest continues to grow.
As a community and enthusiast event, Spring Fest has the tremendous support of FCA (Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Mopar, Fiat, Ram and SRT). The event had many executives and designers in attendance from both the local Irvine office as well as Auburn Hills such as Mark Trostle, Head of Design for SRT, Mopar and Motorsports FCA and numerous head honchos from the Brampton Assembly Plant where the Charger, Challenger, 300 and previously Magnum are built.
Like the past two years, the organizers set up a $10 entry fee for all participants. All proceeds for the entry fees went directly to help funding of programs and promoting resources in drug education at Ocean View High School. All of the entry fees were collected by the high school and will be disbursed to other various charities in the area as well. With 1,485 participants registered this year, the total amount raised for charity was $14,850! That’s truly remarkable!
The kick-off event took place on Thursday night at Fuddruckers Burgers in Lake Forest with quite a few vehicles in the parking lot to hang out, chat and enjoy great food. The next day, the party moved to the host hotels, the Double Tree at Irvine Spectrum and the Courtyard by Marriott Irvine Spectrum. Two years ago, the parking lot at the Double Tree was packed in every corner with beautiful Mopar products from early in the morning until midnight or so; however like last year, the numbers were down. It seems like the Marriott was more so the place to be as the parking lot was always full.
Like every past year the event has been held, the show itself takes place on the Saturday. For the second year, Angel Stadium in Anaheim played host to the event. Once everyone cruised in and parked, you received a commemorative T-shirt and a goody bag courtesy of Mothers Car Care Products. Lunch was included free with your event registration with catering being done by the Angel Stadium food staff. More than a dozen other vendors including AFE, R1 Concepts Inc, Accuair and Wiked Kustomz were on-site offering event sales and product demos.
Under the FCA tent, the company brought lots of eye candy for everyone to check out. The Dodge Shakedown ’71 Challenger made an appearance as well as their striking B5 Blue Durango Shaker concept to name a few. While many were hoping for a special showing of the Durango SRT or the highly talked about 2018 Challenger SRT Demon, neither was shown. That wasn’t to stop all of the FCA and SRT execs on site from wearing custom Demon t-shirts and handing out Demon logo stickers though!
We did however notice something missing this year. In the past years of the event, Dodge and SRT have hosted a closed course “thrill ride” event that had show goers riding shotgun in either their choice of a Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat or a Dodge Viper GT. Driven by SRT personnel, the participants riding along got to experience the full power of the vehicles unleashed with a short side-by-side drag race pinning Hellcat Challenger versus Hellcat Challenger and Viper versus Viper. When we asked about the thrill ride event being AWOL, we were told it was sacrificed to allow for more parking of the cars. With registration numbers up by 400+ cars this year, we certainly could see the need for extra room.
As the event drew to a close, many left with thoughts and excitement for next year’s event in mind already. Hope to see everyone at the 13th Annual Spring Festival of LX’s in 2018!