Lincoln Avenue was transformed Saturday into a car-lover's dream: Mustangs of all shapes, sizes, colors, years, makes and models parked and lined up for hours of viewing pleasure.
The 17th Annual Rocky Mountain Mustang Roundup closed Lincoln Avenue from Fifth Street to 11th Street so that nearly 500 Mustangs could "Show 'n' Shine."
Bill 1995 Mustang GT, named "Dark Side," brought curious spectators over to figure out where the Star Wars music was coming from.
"My wife is more into Star Wars than I am, but I like Darth Vader," Deaton said.
Deaton and his wife, Becky, are from Aurora and have been bringing their Star Wars-dedicated Mustang to Steamboat Springs since 1998.
The Mustang is painted a glossy black with lighter black flames on the sides and license plates that read "DK SIDE." Inside the Mustang, there was a light saber and a life-size Darth Vader helmet; the Star Wars theme music was pumping into the streets.
"This is an excellent car show," Deaton said. "Definitely one of the best Mustang shows there is."
Deaton typically shows his unique Mustang from April to late September, and he also races.
"Not many people do both," he said.
Along with the darker side of Mustangs were the vibrant candy-apple red 1965 convertibles, the canary yellow 1995 Mustang GTs and the wide array of teals, cobalt blues and pearly whites. Some vehicles even had matching mini-Mustangs on display.
Thousands of people were in Steamboat, not only for the Mustang show, but also for the Triple Crown youth baseball tournament, Routt County's first farmers market of the year and a motorcycle show. Even with all the events, things ran very smoothly.
Chris Young, a community service officer, was helping direct detoured traffic from Lincoln Avenue on Saturday and said that, for the most part, people were abiding by the detour and taking their turns.
"Everyone has been behaving nicely, and we haven't had any major problems," she said.
Young said Lincoln Avenue began transforming into the Mustang playground at about 7 a.m. and that traffic control was in place in some areas by 6 a.m. The Mustang Roundup ended at 3 p.m., and Lincoln Avenue was transformed into its typical self by 4 p.m., Young said.
Bob Syrotchen of the Rocky Mountain Mustang Roundup Club of Colorado Springs said the weather was perfect to have so many beautiful cars on display.
"We have seen a lot of happy faces this year," he said.
About 50 local volunteers helped judge the cars in 40 classes, he said.
"We give awards for about 40 percent of the cars in every class," he said. The cars were judged in areas such as appearance of the interior, exterior, craftsmanship and quality and attention to detail.
Jody Anagnos, the special events director for the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association, said this year's event drew people from across Colorado and the nation.
"People really do look forward to being able to wander around the street and look at the cars," she said.
Anagnos was glad to see so many people out.
"Everyone's out and really happy to be here," she said.
Anagnos also was glad that the Old Town Farmers Market made its debut on the same weekend as the Mustang Roundup, and she hoped that the two events were able to help each other.
The market was held in the parking lot of the Routt County Courthouse.
Tracy Barnett of Main Street Steamboat, who helped organize the market, said the debut went very well.
"We started slow, but by midday, we had a really good turnout," she said.
The first market was planned to coincide with the Mustang Roundup, Barnett said, and the strategy worked. A lot of people came over from viewing the Mustangs to look at the wide variety of crafts, agricultural products and services, she said.
"People have been telling me all day that this is great," Barnett said.
Steamboat Springs resident Jackie Lyons sold almost every jar of her homemade salsa at her booth, Steamboat Springs Salsa Company. Lyons began her salsa business last year and sells her salsa to local businesses such as Sweet Pea Produce and Vino.
"I've been busy and this has been a great turnout for the first market," she said.
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