16 September 2011
For those that don’t know, WEKFEST was originally an annual show that started off in a parking garage in Japantown, San Francisco. Now in its fourth year they decided to bring the distinctly California style show on the road. On their first national tour they decided to team up with fellow Bay Area natives, Fatlace. Right after the Long Beach date, they had their eyes peeled on Chicago.
We rolled into McCormick Convention Center at around 7:30 AM with the other vendors already setting up shop. They didn’t have too many vendors there assuring that the focus was on the cars without the flea market environment. Over the course of the next few hours staging took place as cars rolled in and were told where to park. This scene sort of reminds me of organized Tetris. For their first out of state show things went smoothly even as a freak thunderstorm came. The WEKFEST staff handled that situation with remarkable resiliency as it poured for a short period of time.
Thankfully, the weather cleared up just in time for the doors to open as there was a nice line forming outside. People flooded in and things went as any show would. You have your usual fare of people inspecting every inch of the Midwest’s finest builds and those that stop a little too long to take a photo. The thing that separates WEKFEST from other shows is that you see a lot of people talking and just catching up. You can compare it to the biggest show with the environment of your local meet.
What can be said about the cars? WEKFEST is already known to screen cars and their dedication to being “different” from the other shows. The Midwest had a distinctly different style than the Midwest, not in a bad way, just different. Although, this was the first ever WEKFEST where a Domestic won Best of Show. It was an impeccable Chevy Nova built by Derek Abraham of Chi Racing Culture. It is great to see WEKSOS & Fatlace bring WEKFEST on the road and show the world a bit of California car culture. We were glad to have been a part of there first ever time out of their home territory. We hope that they can keep this type of quality and integrity up as its clear they have something special on their hands.