This past week I was fortunate enough to be a part of the Big Easy Mopar 16th annual New Orleans Mopar show. I was fortunate enough to be able to participate in both days of the events for the show the first day is basically three separate tours of local history and then the second day which is the Saturday is actually the full Mopar show on Lake Pontchartrain. This show is definitely nothing like I had ever experienced in any of my travels the hospitality and genuine good nature of the people makes me want to come back every year from now on. I hope this small glimpse into the show and its event will inspire others to participate and come down to the show as well.
For me it was a 15-hour drive from Chicago to New Orleans, but I was willing to do it because the show had such a wonderful reputation and it did not disappoint in any sense of the word. The first day is actually broken up into three different sections and has nothing to do with actual Mopars at all. Rather, it’s about the history of New Orleans and the hospitality that they show on their own people. You start off by getting at the buses at the hotel that is the main meeting spot for the day’s festivities.
From there they took us in three large Greyhound buses to the local Destrehan Plantation, where we were broken up into smaller groups and given tours. Showing the history of this plantation, the oldest plantation in the Mississippi Valley. I had never been to a plantation, so this was definitely an enlightening experience. Every year the club changes this part of the tour. In the past, they had taken people on airboat rides into the bayou, or to the location where they build Mardi Gras floats.
Moving on from the plantation, we were taken to the French Quarter in Downtown New Orleans. This just happened to coincide with St. Patrick’s Day so the streets were packed and amazing. The atmosphere was something you won’t have anywhere else. You can’t not have a bad time in New Orleans; the weather was beautiful, people are friendly, and the food amazing. Everyone had a great time in the few hours we had to meander around the area.
After the French Quarter, we were taken to a large gazebo where the club hosted all of the participants with a large party. This included a variety of local foods and music. All of this was included in the original ticket price for the event. I was fortunate enough to be allowed into the local original jail for the area where I was shanghaied and locked in a cell. They eventually let me out, and we all did a Mardi Gras parade down the street to the local micro-brewery.
That was just the first day. Saturday, the car show day, turned out to be just about perfect. The weather was amazing, the sun was hot, there was a breeze off the lake and everyone was having a great time. There were over 100 cars at the show. A good majority of them were classic Mopar muscle, with a variety of modern mixed in. It took me over an hour to walk around and see all the vehicles first-hand. And the quality of cars that was there was top notch. The owners were very pleasant to speak with and knowledgeable about their cars.
I was fortunate to be able to spend the entire day speaking with all sorts of Mopar enthusiasts. The guys from the Bomb Factory in New Orleans even came with their new Ram truck and Dodge Dart wagon. Unfortunately, their show, “Big Easy Motors” had not been renewed for season two on Discovery Channel.
For my first time, I cannot reiterate enough how much fun I had over the two days and this is just the official stuff; I mean I was on Bourbon Street for four nights straight. It was an absolute blast all the way around. If you have the opportunity I highly recommend this show.