Tuna Car Show and Swap in Springfield, MA to Benefit Shriners Hospital Tuna Car Show to Help Shriners Hospital

A whole new “catch” of classic, hot rod and custom cars and trucks in competition and on display await car lovers at Sunday’s 24th Annual Tuned by Tuna Car Show and Swap Meet held at Smith & Wesson in Springfield.  The annual event, organized by Charles “Tuna” Sumares, is a fund-raiser for Shriners Hospital for Children in Springfield and is more than just a car show with entertainment, monster trucks, food, race cars, and two “shows within a show.”

The Emergency 911 show features restored emergency vehicles such as police cruisers and motorcycles, fire apparatus and ambulances.

“Many retired police enter the show and we have someone coming all the way from Florida to participate,” Sumares said. This year’s new show within a show is the Tow Show and Shine, featuring all kinds of tow trucks. “There’s even going to be a tow rodeo, which is an obstacle course for tow trucks,” Sumares laughed. Visitors can also do a little riding of their own at the show by climbing aboard the Extinguisher monster truck for the ride of their life. For $5, daring riders will be strapped into their seats for a safe 10-minute thrill ride around the parking lot. Also, the Peter Pan Double Decker bus will be at the show offering free 30-minute tours of Springfield’s famous landmarks. Even the entertainment is “car” related. Songmaster Dave Mindell will serenade the crowds from the fold-out band shell of Peter’s Pan’s Futureliner bus. First displayed at the 1939 New York World’s Fair, the fleet of 12 Futurliners traveled across the country as part of the GM Parade of Progress. Mindell, who is donating his time for the fund-raiser, will perform from noon to 1:30 p.m. singing songs from the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s, including tunes by the Beach Boys, Neil Diamond and Elvis. “Just close your eyes and he sounds just like them,” said Sumares. Also, the CHIP child identification program will be at the show for parents to have dental imprints, fingerprints and a videotape of their youngster made free of charge. And, don’t forget it’s a swap meet, too. “You’ll find vendors selling everything from hub caps to full cars, as well as collectibles such as die-cast cars, car jackets and shirts and plenty of other automotive related items,” Sumares said. Of course, it wouldn’t be a Shriners event without plenty of clowns and a little face painting for kids, along with the antics of the Shriners motorized unit showing off their miniature machines. Visitors planning to arrive at the show after noon should be aware that many of the cars entered will be leaving the grounds for about one hour at 2 p.m. to participate in the annual “Teddy Bear Pools and Spas Cruisin‘ 2008″ parade to Shriners Hospital.

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