Start Your Engines

Ignition Phoenix LGBT Auto Show Debuts Labor Day Weekend

By Tiffany Hopkins

Historically, Labor Day weekend is a prime holiday for packing up the car and skipping town … not this year. Instead, grab your Turtle Wax and hit the car wash, because Ignition Phoenix is rolling into town.

Presented by the Lambda Car Club and ION Arizona, Ignition Phoenix is Arizona’s newest LGBT auto show. More than 100 cars, motorcycles, scooters will be on display at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum at the Arizona State Fair Grounds Aug. 30 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

According to Jack Tesorero and Kevin Bushaw, the show’s creators, everyone is welcome to show off their vehicle in an LGBT-friendly, air-conditioned environment while enjoying live music from a DJ, a full bar, food, raffles, contests, slot machines, vendors and a poker tournament.

“Whether you’re passionate about cars or just a casual admirer, there will be plenty to do for everyone,” Tesorero said.

The Lambda Car Club’s Central Arizona Division will play a large part in Ignition Phoenix, as many of the cars on display will be from the club. Hell’s Fairies, an LGBT scooter club with chapters in seven major cities, and Cactus 4 Wheelers, a group of off-road enthusiasts that’s been planning group events since 1997, will also be in attendance. 

While the event will showcase a variety of automobiles — from classics and exotics to rare and vintage vehicles — Tesorero said he’s also hoping to feature vehicles people wouldn’t expect from an ordinary car show, including motorcycles, scooters, mopeds and “maybe even a Segway or two.”

38566210001_large-cmykAccording to Tesorero, not only is Ignition Phoenix the prefect event to add to your holiday weekend itinerary, but it also supports good causes.

Admission to the show is a suggested donation of $20, and 100 percent of all proceeds will benefit two nonprofit organizations. One n ten’s QU Scholarship Fund, which helps send LGBT youth to college, and the newly opened Phoenix Pride LGBT Center, at 801 N. Second Ave. in Phoenix, will split all donated proceeds.

“We decided to get support and make it a fundraiser,” Tesorero said. “In doing this, we’re helping the Valley’s LGBT youth, as well as helping our community as a whole.”

Justin Owen, Phoenix Pride executive director, said he is excited to be a part of this event because he believes it’s reaching an LGBT audience and brings a new experience to the community.

“It’s a place where people can check out fancy cars and be exposed to a new specific interest,” Owen said. “I think that’s what Jack is going for, just bringing a completely different type of event to our community.”

This holiday-weekend extravaganza begins Friday with a kick-off party at the new IcePics. And, following the event Saturday, Stacy’s @ Melrose is hosting the official afterparty.-E

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