Enthusiasts of two different kinds gathered in downtown Waxahachie on Saturday, some for the cars and others for the crawfish.
The first Wheelin’ and Peelin’ car show and crawfish boil, organized by the Waxahachie’s Downtown Merchants Association, was designed as a social event to attract visitors to downtown.
Gloria Michael brought her ‘56 Chevy Bel Air as well as several family members and friends. This is the first time she has been to a car show in Waxahachie, the Midlothian resident said.
“The vendors here are doing well, I have bought stuff from four or five shops,” Michael said.
Her granddaughter, on the other hand, came for the crawfish, she added.
On the other side of the square, members of the Cruisers Club, based in Red Oak, found an area sheltered from the wind to gather and keep an eye on their vehicles. The men pointed out each other’s cars, bragging on their rarity and age.
“That is one of the only Bentleys in Ellis County, I think,” said David Grahm, pointing toward Waxahachie resident Don Mills’ 1953 Bentley parked near the end of the row of Cruisers cars.
Grahm’s own light blue ‘31 Model A Ford is also a treat to see, Mills added.
Car clubs and shows are about good cars and people, the men said.
“We go to a show to get together with them and talk cars,” Mills said.
The club also gets together for cruises, where they meet up in a high traffic area just to let people see them, the men said.
“It’s kind of a ROMEO thing, real old men eating out,” Grahm explained. “I come for the cars. If you have a nice car you like to show it off.”
In the beer garden set up a block away, William “Tres” Atkins and his team were running an assembly line to cook about 3,000 pounds of crawfish along with corn on the cob and potatoes. They assembled the platters for the growing line of customers. Atkins and his wife own Atkins Seafood, a local seafood storefront near downtown.
“We can’t cook them fast enough,” Atkins said with a smile during a short break before the next batch was ready.
The crawfish didn’t let down Jordan McMullan who came to the show just for the crawfish.
“They were amazing crawfish,” McMullan said. “I really didn’t care about the cars, just the crawfish.”
He was first introduced to crawfish as a teen by his friend Josh Oliver, now a Waxahachie police officer on duty at the show, but hadn’t sampled the crawfish yet.
“I grew up in Louisiana, so I tried to influence all my friends,” Oliver said. “It’s really cool to have someone like Atkins distributing seafood here.”