Santa Barbara Getting a Car Show on the Wharf

Byline: Taylor Hill

Santa Barbara Getting a Car Show on the Wharf

SANTA BARBARA — Stearns Wharf, Santa Barbara’s most visited landmark, will be host to a new event Nov. 11, as the inaugural Wheels on the Wharf car show will bring a large collection of classic and exotic cars to the waterfront.

While the cars will be the main attraction, the whole family can enjoy the day’s activities planned on the wharf — including live music, carnival midway-style games and a beer garden.

Produced by local car dealer Milpas Motors, owner Leonard Hartman and vice president Gerry Cruz came up with the idea for a car show on the wharf that would highlight high-quality automobiles while also raising funds for local charities.

With the show in its inaugural year, Cruz said they have chosen three charities that will share in proceeds from the event: Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Santa Barbara County, local animal support service C.A.R.E.S 4 Paws and the Salvation Army of Santa Barbara.

Each charity is in charge of organizing volunteers for a section of the event, which Cruz said will cut costs and allow a larger portion of the money raised from the event to go directly back to the charities.

“We want to raise money and split the pot evenly among the three charities, and our approach has to be smart,” Cruz said. “We want to help these charities, and at the same time, allow the organizations to help themselves.”

In future years, other local charities will have an opportunity to participate in the event, he said.

Still in its beginning stages, the car show will just be an exhibition this year, but Cruz and Leonard hope that the show can grow into a Concours d’Elegance-style event for Southern California car collectors.

“It’s important to remind the locals of what a wonderful place the wharf can be,” Cruz said. “Sometimes we think of it as a tourist spot, but it’s a special place worth spending your time on.”

Stearns Wharf is located at State Street and Cabrillo Boulevard. The event is free to attend, and will run from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

For more information, call (866) 255-6820 or email

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