For the last 14 years, the lowriding community of Houston, Texas, has come together on the first Sunday of the year for a day full of custom rides, friends, sun, and food. The date this year was January 5th. “This event began back in 2006 when the HLC first hosted the event,” said Armando “Goofy” Hernandez, Club Coordinator for Rollerz Only Houston Chapter and original founder of the Houston Lowrider Council. The HLC held the picnic annually until the council dissolved in 2012. In 2013, the four Houston area chapters of Rollerz Only hosted the event in hopes of making it an annual Rollerz event. “We took it upon ourselves to host the picnic,” said Jose Martinez, President of Rollerz Only, Gulf Coast Chapter, “Houston, Gulf Coast, Galveston, and then Eagle Lake chapters.” Rollerz wanted to elevate the excitement of the picnic. “We did games, contests, and trophies that year,” said Martinez. With Rollerz Only already hosting a successful yearly holiday toy drive, concentrating on two huge events so close together in dates proved to be a lot to take on logistically. 2013 would be the last year the New Year’s Day Picnic would have a host.
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Since the picnic had already become a staple in the Houston scene by 2013, riders continued to gather on their own each and every year. This year’s event was not hosted by anyone; No group, no car club, no single person. Riders just started arriving on their own like clockwork to MacGregor Park on Houston’s Southeast side as early as 5:30 in the morning to begin to mark off their spots for their respective clubs. MacGregor Park has been the picnic’s home since it’s start in 2006 with the exception of 2009. “In 2009 the picnic was at Tom Bass Park. From 2010 to 2012 it was back to MacGregor,” said Armando “Goofy” Hernandez.
The best thing about this Texas weather is that riders don’t have to wait for the Spring to enjoy perfect picnic weather. In Houston, you can cruise year round. There’s no putting up the low low in the garage for the winter. And perfect, the weather was. At any given picnic, you’re going to see clubs and riders that just don’t ever make it out to any car shows. Some guys just want to cruise and don’t care about trophies. The picnic, combined with the gorgeous weather meant that the showing was going to be strong. “I estimate that there were around 200 rides at the picnic,” said Armando “Goofy” Hernandez. It was true that the park was packed to its limits with custom rides for as far as the eye could see, cruising the lanes for the entire day. Though this picnic is a lowrider picnic, there were many other types of rides to be found at the park. We saw rat rods, luxury cars, and swangas coming out to mingle amongst the lowrider crowds.
All in all it was a very relaxing day. Not having an organizer for an event doesn’t mean an event is not organized. This one flowed smooth like butter all day without one single issue. Each player knows his part and everyone had a great time because of it. We were truly impressed and will be back in 2021 to enjoy it all over again. The date, for those who might have trouble figuring it out, is January 3rd, 2021. See you all there.