Mahomet was the place to be on Sunday. Anyone rolling in from Interstate 74 or U.S. 150 instantly knew the village was abuzz.
The 10th annual Mahomet Auto Fest showcased 270 vehicles along downtown Mahomet's Main Street, where the 80-degree, sunny weather welcomed hundreds of attendees.
If village President Sean Widener had to guess, he estimated that more than $10 million in value lined the streets that day.
The shimmer of the classic cars, the rev of the Corvettes' engines and the wow factor of the muscle cars impressed visitors.
First-time attendee Amelia Phillips of Mahomet brought her boys, Corbin, 9, Connor, 7, and Caleb, 5, to the car show as a way to get ideas for their recently purchased 1968 Mustang.
"I like seeing the Mustangs," Connor said. "I like seeing the race cars," Caleb added.
Amelia Phillips said the event even got the boys talking about getting behind the wheel one day.
"They said, 'I want that one!' to just about every single car," she said. "They can't wait to drive."
Though Phillips was unaware of the size of the event, she found it to be a good way for the community to gather together.
"It just brings everyone together and you get to see friends that you haven't seen since school," she said.
Other Mahomet residents, such as Daniel Cummings, viewed the event as a family-friendly affair. Cummings brought his children, Austin, 5, and Claire, 7, to show off the family's 1978 MG Midget.
"He built that!" said Austin of his father's vehicle.
"It's a little bit different than the rest of the cars that are here," Daniel Cummings added.
Cummings purchased the vehicle when he was only a kid himself. He admired his cousin's '72 MG Midget when he was roughly the age of his own children.
"I was like, 'Oh, I'll own one someday,'" he said.
When he turned 13, he purchased a pair of MG Midgets from a man in Homer.
"I bought 'em for like $150 each, and here we are," Cummings said.
Cummings and his family are no strangers to the Mahomet Auto Fest. Last year, Cummings and his father featured a 1954 Willys pickup in the show.
"They bring in a lot of people," Cummings said. "It's really good at making people aware of what Mahomet has to offer."
Such was the case for first-time attendees Jim and Joyce Reuther of Decatur. They are members of the Illini Antique Auto Club.
"I've never been here before," Joyce Reuther said.
"We've passed it a million times on the interstate," Jim Reuther added.
Jim Reuther displayed his 1990 Corvette convertible. His auto hobby began shortly after he retired.
"She (Joyce) said, 'You need a hobby,'" Jim Reuther joked.
"It keeps him busy and he enjoys it," Joyce Reuther added. "That's what I wanted him to do — find something that he enjoys."
Others, such as Champaign residents Kip and Connie Anderson, said they can't help but return year after year.
"He's won (awards) a few years, so that's what keeps him coming out," Connie Anderson joked.
"We've come to it for several years," Kip Anderson added. "It's a nice day, and it's always a good show."
Anderson showcased his 1967 Camaro alongside the village's administrative building.
Steps away from Anderson's Camaro was Heyworth resident Gary Turner's cherry red 1940 LaSalle ambulance, which was ranked one of the class winners for the modified 1989 to older category.
Accolades aside, Sunday was Turner's fourth year at Auto Fest.
"We try to come out every year," he said. "I don't care if I win anything or not. I just like coming and visiting with other people."
Main Street's staple event got its start on Feb. 8 this year when the Mahomet Area Chamber of Commerce held its first planning meeting.
"We have a great committee," chamber director Walter Pierce said.
From logistics, merchandise, public relations, registration and much more, the event required the helping hands of Greg Collins, Robert Davis, Mike Dillavou, Evan El Koury, Lyn Ferdinand, Pierce, Nick Taylor, Jody Wesley and Marci Wireman.
Event organizer Nick Taylor spearheads the event each year and has done so since its inception.
"I visit a lot of the shows in and around a 50-mile radius kind of pushing our show," Taylor said. "A lot of these guys I know, so I asked them personally to come, so they kind of do it as a favor."
Taylor's love for cars started at 12 when his grandfather took him to a race in Daytona.
"That kind of got me hooked on cars," he said.
One thing that never gets old for Taylor is seeing how much the event grows every year.
"This is the biggest show we've had so far," he said. "We have 270 (cars) that are registered, but I bet we have another 25 cars that are just sitting around that didn't get here in time."
Taylor is continuously impressed by the variety of vehicles.
"It's just huge," he said. "We've got things from six-figure income cars to rat rods."
Vehicles aside, Taylor recognizes the event is an excellent way to bring people together.
"It brings people to town one more time," he said. "A lot of small towns don't have hardly anything going on and Mahomet has a lot of opportunities to showcase their town, and this is one of those."
Food truck vendors, such as Jenkins Catering's Snack Shack, Chester's BBQ and Ice Daddy's Shaved Ice, provided both sweet and savory treats to add one more reason for attendees to visit Auto Fest. And Matt Difanis' music from his RE/MAX van had attendees in high spirts with classic '50s- and '60s-themed tunes.
The afternoon's trophy presentation kept hundreds gathered on Main Street to see if their car won one of the class trophies or the coveted best in show award.
Auto Fest award winners were broken down by 15 classes with three of the top attendee-voted vehicles receiving a trophy. Best in Show winner Jeff Pickett blew the crowd away with his 1968 Chevy Camaro.
The vehicle brought all kinds of memories back for Pierce.
"I had an older brother killed in a car wreck in 1968, and he drove a 1968 Camaro SS," Pierce said. "The best in show winner was the same vehicle and it brought back so many good memories of my brother."
When all was said and done, a procession of cars could be seen leaving Main Street, hitting U.S. 150 and then winding through the Lake of the Woods Forest Preserve.
"It was a day of good music, good weather and good lookin' cars," Pierce said. "I think it showcases our community. Some may think of Mahomet as a sleepy little bedroom community, but it's not. There's a lot to offer in this town, and on Sunday we got to show that off, which is pretty cool."