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Team Kirtland’s Hispanic Heritage Committee shifts into gear to safely host car show

Car show.

Charlie Castillo, U.S. Army Vietnam War veteran, describes to U.S. Air Force Col. Ryan Nye, 377th Air Base Wing vice commander, details about the restoration of his vehicle entered in the Hispanic Heritage car show at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico on Oct. 7, 2020. Team Kirtland’s Hispanic Heritage committee welcomed cars, trucks and bikes for a car show as part of the National Hispanic Heritage Month celebrations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kiana Pearson)

car show

Team Kirtland’s Hispanic Heritage committee welcome cars, trucks and bikes for a car show at Hardin Field at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico on Oct. 7, 2020. More than 25 registered vehicles participated in the car show in recognition of National Hispanic Heritage Month. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kiana Pearson)

U.S. Air Force Col. Ryan Nye judges a car show.

U.S. Air Force Col. Ryan Nye, 377th Air Base Wing vice commander, judged vehicles at the Team Kirtland Hispanic Heritage car show at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico on Oct. 7, 2020. Participants competed for trophies and the Commander’s Choice award during the National Hispanic Heritage Month event. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kiana Pearson)

Airman poses in a car for car show.

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Carlos Lucero, 58th Maintenance Squadron propulsion flight chief, poses in his car that he entered in the Hispanic Heritage car show at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico on Oct. 7, 2020. The event was held in honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kiana Pearson)

KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. --

Team Kirtland’s Hispanic Heritage committee welcomed cars, trucks and bikes for a car show at Hardin Field on Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico on Oct. 7, 2020.

National Hispanic Heritage Month is observed every year from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15. Team Kirtland coordinated with Sandia National Laboratories to provide a number of events to honor the contributions of the Hispanic community.

“I’ve been involved in the Hispanic Heritage committee since 2015,” said U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Carlos Lucero, 58th Maintenance Squadron propulsion flight chief. “The car show is my favorite event of the year because it allows us to do something I’ve done since I was a kid.”

More than 25 registered vehicles entered the show and competed for first to third place trophies and the Commander’s Choice award.

“Growing up in the Hispanic culture, car shows are event’s that brought everyone together,” said Lucero. Lucero remembers how the automotive community would come around to show off a variety of vehicles ranging from hotrods, lowriders to drag racers.

According to Lucero, the turnout of this event was on par with the car show last year even though many of the events this year were virtual, due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Despite the challenges, with oversight from Public Health, the 377th Air Base Wing and the 58th Special Operations Wing, the committee was able to safely host its first and only in-person event during this year’s commemoration.

“I think it was great that we’re able to come to the park to meet other car enthusiasts,” said Charlie Castillo, U.S. Army Vietnam War veteran.

Castillo showcased a 1972 Ford Ranger Grand Torino that took him more than two years to restore. He noted his involvement in the car show community since 2002.

The Hispanic culture has a deep history throughout our State and Nation; and the Hispanic Heritage Month car show brought together the community to honor that culture with pride.

For more information, visit this year’s committee’s official Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/TKHispanicCelebration2020/