RIVER CLUB — Meet Virginia.
She’s not as young as she once was, but that doesn’t keep her from hitting the pavement each morning.
Braden River High School senior Alex Lunkes makes sure to take extra care of the 1966 Ford Mustang he and his father have been working on for the last three years.
Normally, Virginia catches the attention of students in Braden River’s parking lot. This weekend, however, she’ll be one of more than 100 vintage and show-class Mustangs and other Ford vehicles on display for the public Nov. 18, during the 21st annual Ponies Under the Palms car show, on Lakewood Ranch Main Street.
“It’s an easy thing for me to talk about,” Alex said, noting the car is knick-named after its former owner. “(The show) definitely is going to be cool. I’ve been to this show, and there are so many amazing cars there. I’m excited.”
Alex and his parents, Dave and Elaine, are organizing the event, with the help of more than a dozen other volunteers from the Mustang Club of West Central Florida, which is hosting the show.
From 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., attendees will get to view classic cars, while enjoying raffles and other activities benefiting Tidewell Hospice and Southeastern Guide Dogs.
Elaine Lunkes said she agreed to take on organizing the 21st annual Ponies Under the Palms event, after learning the event would end if no one took on organizing duties and that the club planned to move it to Lakewood Ranch, from its longtime venue on St. Armands Circle.
“I’m a firm believer in this area, and want to see it continue to grow and thrive,” she said. “We’ll get awareness for our community. Cars are coming from all over.
“The businesses win,” she said. “The community gets a fun event and our charities get the proceeds.”
The Lakewood Ranch Main Street venue will provide more parking — historically a problem for the show at St. Armands — than in previous years, Lunkes said.
Elaine Lunkes also said 40% of registrants are new to the show this year, an indicator the venue has brought forward a new group of Ford and Mustang enthusiasts.
Day-of-event registrations for participating in the show are being accepted. Entry fee is $25.
Contact Pam Eubanks at firstname.lastname@example.org.
IF YOU GO
Ponies under the palms
When: 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 18
Where: Lakewood Ranch Main Street