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Lowrider Car Show Returns to the Cow Palace Bringing Vaccine Along With the Chrome

DALY CITY (KPIX) -- The famed "King of the Streets" lowrider car show was canceled due to the pandemic last year and, this year, organizers were still doing their best to fight the virus. Saturday at the Cow Palace in Daly City, vaccination shots came along with a celebration.

"It's a 1961 Impala," said John Ugaz, looking over his perfectly-restored, custom-green convertible. "You want to get everything perfect. You want to get your paint perfect, get your chrome perfect. You want to get your interior perfect. It's an expensive hobby. It's a love-hate relationship. It's old-school, they break down, you fix it, you do it again and you go back on the road."

It was, finally, back on the road for the car show as the San Francisco Lowrider Council celebrated its 40th anniversary Saturday.

"You know, I got arrested 113 times but, at the end of the day, we banded together, we organized and organized," said Roberto Hernandez, founder of the San Francisco Lowrider Council. "We are celebrating that we are part of the social justice movement, about equity in San Francisco."

With the relaunch amid the ongoing pandemic, Hernandez saw an opportunity.

"We really wanted to educate our community that you've got to get the vaccine," Hernandez said.

Everyone who showed up had a chance to do that, with a clinic set up right at the front gate.

"This is definitely where there is a lot of traffic," said Pascal Garcia-Montepetit of the Latino Task Force. "But we also get a lot of opportunities for our people, from our community, to speak directly to those who are otherwise working, for those who are living their lives. We're trying to bring our services of the Latino task force directly to our folks."

After the pandemic hiatus, this institution is rolling again, as the return of the lowriders helps drive vaccination rates a little higher.

"We are really happy that we are doing our part," Hernandez said. "To make sure that people stay safe and stay alive."

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