Rod Run draws hundreds of visitors to downtown

Hannah Grover,

FARMINGTON — The Land of Enchantment Rod Run and Block Party, put together by the Northern New Mexico Street Rodders club, drew hundreds of car owners and spectators to downtown on Saturday.

The show, which has gone on for more than three decades, has become a summer staple here. While its venues have changed multiple times, it continues to grow. The event featured live music, food and camaraderie.

This year, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Farmington presented its annual soap box derby in conjunction with the Rod Run. 

Jared Meechan, 9, tests his steering and brakes before competing in the Boys & Girls Clubs of Farmington soap box derby on Saturday on Wall Street. Meechan came in first in the 70 pounds and more class.

Latisha Joseph, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Farmington development director, said the 22 children who participated in the soap box derby went downtown to look at the cars after the competition.

"The kids loved it," she said, adding that the award winners got to receive their trophies along with the winners of the Rod Run competition.

The people who entered cars in the Rod Run received ballots and were able to judge which cars were the best out of more than 20 categories, according to club member Jake Padilla, who has shown cars at the event since it began.

Dan Soderberg's N2A Motors 789 is displayed for visitors to the Land of Enchantment Rod Run on Saturday on Main Street in Farmington.

The categories included street rods, motorcycles, classics, antique and restored cars, trucks, muscle cars, European cars, under-construction cars, modern custom and trucks made prior to 1959, as well as various other categories.

This year, Padilla entered his 1934 Ford Tudor sedan, which he parked near the intersection of Allen Avenue and Main Street. 

Padilla said the show started 34 years ago as part of Farmington's Fourth of July celebrations at Brookside Park. It later moved to Civitan Park, and, in 2013, it was relocated to downtown.

Even before the Rod Run moved downtown, the Northern New Mexico Street Rodders Club presented a block party downtown after the main show at Civitan Park.

Padilla said the event has been popular because a lot of people work on cars as a hobby, and the Rod Run provides a chance for them to show off their work. For some people, that could be a custom paint job, while for others, it could even be an improvised product, such as a handmade travel trailer.

Car enthusiasts take in the Land of Enchantment Rod Run on Saturday on Main Street in Farmington.

Padilla said he never envisioned the Rod Run becoming as large as it is, but he said it will probably continue to expand in the future.

"It continues to grow and get bigger and bigger and bigger," Padilla said.

Hannah Grover covers Aztec and Bloomfield, as well as general news, for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652.