AUSTIN, Texas — A weekly car club meet up at East Austin’s Fiesta Gardens, or “Chicano Park,” has become a topic of conversation after residents of a new luxury apartment, The Weaver, have started calling the police to stop them.
On Sunday, hundreds of car club members gathered at Rendon Park – also known as "Chicano Park" by East Austin locals – to make a statement to The Weaver residents who complained about the meetings.
Those neighbors are fighting against a decades-long tradition in East Austin, saying the meetings are too loud. Residents at the Weaver have also said that the car club meetups block the road and smoke from the burnouts are bad for the environment.
However, speakers at a gathering on Sunday reassured the public that the car club meet ups are not going anywhere. They said it's not just about candy paint and elbows – it's about tradition.
"Our goal here is to educate, motivate and inspire. That is what we need to be doing. Educate people who aren't from here. Motivate our children and inspire those who are uninspired," Travis County Constable George Moralis said.
Austin Mayor Steve Adler, council member Greg Casar and other City leaders were in attendance. Adler arrived in a candy-painted low-rider.
"Where else to be on a beautiful Sunday like this," Adler told KVUE. "This is like decades, decades [that] folks in the community have been gathering here."
At the end of the press conference, the car clubs invited anyone to come out on any given Sunday to hang out and see what the tradition is really about.
The Weaver Apartments sent KVUE the following statement:
"The Weaver community understands and respects the importance of the weekly car club tradition in the East Austin community. As such, no one ever speaking on behalf of the property or property management has ever asked the car clubs to move or end their Sunday gatherings - nor are we aware of any resident doing so. A unique point of distinction between The Weaver and other complexes is its origins. It is part of the larger redevelopment of the RBJ Center site, which has the purpose of funding The Austin Geriatric Center’s mission to provide 500 affordable homes for seniors. We hope the community can understand the great lengths that went into gaining community support for the redevelopment’s vision, the need for affordable housing and the important role residents of The Weaver are playing to provide it. While a few of our residents, as well as other neighbors nearby, have complained about certain issues related to the gatherings, like noise levels and blocked roadways, it is important to note the quality-of-life concerns raised are similar to those often voiced whenever large, festive gatherings are held near homes, in Austin and beyond. We’ve reached out to our residents, car club organizers and East Austin leaders to facilitate better understanding and help find solutions that respect all involved."
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