Summer Vibes ’16 | Part 2

No sleeping in today

It’s 5am on a Saturday morning and my iPhone alarm is going off. The sound woke me up to darkness. The sun still hadn’t come up and I’d been up late putting my TSX back together and washing her for Summer Vibes. Unfortunately, getting the group together for an event in Lakeland, with members spread out from St. Petersburg to Hudson, meant an early start. With everything packed up my fiancé and I hit the road a few minutes early. Stopping at Starbucks for some much needed caffeine to help us through the day. It’s now 79°F.

It’s 6am now and one half of the group is heading up to I4 from the south while the rest of us were making our way down 75. As the sun came up we pulled into a Flying J gas station for the whole group to meet up. After a few minutes everyone had visited the bathroom and grabbed some snacks and we were on the way to Lakeland. It’s now 81°F.

We headed straight East on I4, looking right into the rising sun. An uneventful drive meant we made it quickly to the Lakeland Center. Pulling in and finding our spot we made sure to setup under a tree, knowing the searing heat was on the way. It’s now 85°F.

Limelight was rolling in

The sun was still an orange ball in the sky and limelight roll in was just beginning. I Love Driving Slow and their Faction group were still setting up and the line of cars was at a standstill in front of our tent. While wiping down our cars we watched as, one by one, the handpicked cars rolled by toward their place in the showcase area. Once I finished cleaning my wheels I decided to go get some pictures before the crowds poured in. That was the first walk around the lot and just a small part of the 4.5 miles my iPhone said I walked that day. The Limelight showcase did not disappoint. While not everyone had arrived yet the cars that were here already were worth the walk. It’s now 87°F.

Gates Open

It’s 11am and the crowd is starting to arrive. The venue was an open parking lot across from the Lakeland Center. Several rows of trees provided shade and throughout the day people migrated from the black top to the shade and grass for relief. Everywhere there were tents, coolers, and grills. For those who didn’t plan as well there were plenty of food trucks. We were all enjoying the show walking around to see everything and taking breaks from the heat under our shade tree. I was already on my third walk around the lot, trying to make sure I got pictures of as much as possible. It’s now 95°F.

The Heat

Read the last part of every paragraph for an idea of the heat. The figures are from a local weather report for the day without the feels-like index being added. The day started with suffocating humidity and just shy of 80°F. The drive was pleasant enough with the windows cracked and AC blasting on its coldest setting. I’ve lived here my whole life so the heat is no surprise. I think the group as a whole was well prepared and while it was a hot day it definitely did not negatively affect the event for me. I got a pretty bad sun burn which was my fault for not wearing sun block. I know the heat got to at least one person when we saw a firetruck and ambulance come flying in.

I personally enjoyed the outdoor event despite the heat. The poor lighting of indoor events and the hassle of waiting to be let in, not having too much fuel, and unhooking the battery gets tedious. It’s Florida and we have beautiful weather to enjoy with our cars and friends. I’d say music but the DJ did get drowned out by the stereo of a car in the limelight area (no names) so for a portion of the day the music was actually a little aggravating. You couldn’t distinguish what was playing out of the garbled nonsense of the two competing tracks.

Time to go home

2pm and the heat was finally getting to some of the group. We had plans to shoot video with Nextgen Tuning after the show. So we met up with CJ and for the next hour or so cruised around getting funny looks from some of the locals for driving by several times in a row. While my car isn’t anywhere near how I’d like it to be I look forward to seeing the video with most of our group. After the video shoot we hit the highway home. A short drive to go get some food with those of the group who weren’t totally drained from the day. I was exhausted but that spasagna (lasagna made with spaghetti noodles) at Cheddars was a good way to end the day.

Summer Vibes ’17?

ILDS put on a fantastic event. I’m assuming Summer Vibes 2017 will happen and I can’t wait for the next one. Until then thanks for reading our page and checking out our pictures. We look forward to seeing you all at whatever event is coming up next. Be sure to keep an eye here for more features and event coverage. Also check out ILDS’s page and their next big even coming up which is Winterfest.

Everything Else…

Here are the rest of my photos from Summer Vibes ’16. Be sure to check out the Bonus Photo Dump post for all of the images from our very own Mark Miller!

Article: Josh Mori
Photos: Josh Mori

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