By Hailey Palmer, Puyallup Tribal News
Muscle cars, classic trucks, cars decked out in chrome, a variety of vendors and more lined Firecracker Alley last weekend for the Puyallup Tribe’s inaugural Car Show and Flea Market on Saturday.
Car enthusiasts and vendors set up in the morning while clouds still filled the sky, but by early afternoon, the sun broke out and shined down on the hundreds of weekend revelers that came out for the event.
In addition to the cars, attendees were treated to a free photo booth, popcorn, cotton candy and rides on a mechanical bull.
Plenty of vendors were also on hand selling a variety of wares: smoked salmon, sneakers, clothing, jewelry and more.
With fall now here, some regulars in the car show scene were excited to have the opportunity to get to show off their car maybe one last time before the weather takes a turn until spring.
One of those people was Cliff Holland, who has been attending and taking his cars out to shows since joining a car club after he retired in 2003. He brought his shiny, gold 1966 Oldsmobile Toronado, which he calls “Mr. T.”
“It’s just a chance to get our cars out on the road, and it’s like a big family,” Holland said.
Puyallup Tribal Councilman Fred Dillon showed off his black Ford Galaxie 500. “To have the opportunity to show (the car) off and the opportunity to have our Tribe put on a show like this is truly awesome for me,” Dillon said. “All the different makes, models and how everyone puts their love and heart in it is pretty awesome.”
While most of the space was occupied by classic cars, some brought out their motorcycles, modern cars and even off-road vehicles.
Puyallup Tribal member Danyelle Satiacum put her vehicle on display while spreading the word about her new off-roading club, Medicine Creek Offroad.
“It’s to try and get more Native Americans out there wheeling, harvesting and paying attention to the woods out in Elbe and cleaning up the forest,” Satiacum said. “(We’re looking to) have fun and figure out how to move on from troubles you encounter on your trail.”
Satiacum was originally part of a different off-roading group, but realized she wanted to encourage more Tribal involvement in the sport.
“I needed more of the harvesting, stopping to berry pick, having stories and some tradition in it,” she said. “I would like to see a lot of our youth get back into this kind of stuff that’s not taught in schools.”
Throughout the morning and early afternoon, votes were cast by participants for 16 awards from categories that included Best in Show, Best Classic Truck, Best Paint and Best Rez Rider.
“A Rez Rider is our $200 car that’s been held together with duct tape and zip ties and gets us from one place to the other,” Puyallup Tribe Community Event Coordinator Chester Earl explained.
Before awards were handed out, members of Tribal Council took the stage to thank those in attendance.
Vice Chairwoman Sylvia Miller, Councilwoman Annette Bryan, Councilman James Rideout, Councilwoman Monica Milller and Councilman Dillon were present for the show.
Vice Chairwoman Miller said it was a great honor for the Tribe to be able to host the show on the property and touched on the symbolism of the event.
“The Puyallup Tribe has struggled,” she said. “We’ve had many pieces of our reservation taken away from us, and to be able to get this back and be able to do not only this – but the first project that ever happened on this land right here was our canoe journey,” Miller said. “That was our way of transportation, so to be able to show the next step of transportation – these old cars – it’s amazing to be able to do this.”
Earl said the Tribe wants to continue to use the property in ways for gatherings. He said there will be food trucks on some weekends, flea markets and other smaller categorized car shows leading up to a larger show in the future.
“The Tribe is really wanting to use this property to be a place where the community abroad and Tribal members can come together and enjoy time like this,” Earl said. “In the future we plan to do more.”