If you're in the retro community and you haven't heard about Viva Las Vegas, you must live under a rock. It's by far the largest and most popular rockabilly and vintage weekender and pinups come from all over to attend.
This year, a new Viva event started much closer to home. Taking place in Marlborough, MA (only 20 minutes North from where I live!), and run by Roadmen Car Club, Viva East promised hot custom cars, a plethora of vintage and repro vendors, a pinup pageant, nightly burlesque performances and sock hops, and more. It was basically a baby Viva Las Vegas for East Coasters.
Seeing as it was so close to home, I knew I had to check it out. I opted for a Saturday car show pass since I knew I wouldn't be spending multiple days at the event. Ticket purchased, I began to plan my day with Helene from Circle Skirts and Petticoats. A fellow East Coaster, Helene lives in the city so it was a no-brainer that she'd check it out with me!
We met up around noon on Saturday and picked up our wristbands. It had been a cloudy morning but as we entered the car show area, the sun came out and it got hot pretty quickly! As we began to look around, we were a bit disappointed to find only a few outdoor vendors.
It's always hard to know how many cars will be at these weekenders as well as know how large they will make the shopping options at the car show. At Viva Las Vegas the outdoor vendor area is PACKED with tents and some of the biggest names are out there. At New England Shakeup, there weren't nearly as many but a good amount to make it worth your while. At Nashville Boogie, ALL their vendors are located in the car show.
So you can imagine, it was a bit of a bummer. Still, we took our time snapping photos by some vintage cars and chatted along the way. Luckily, as we were doing so, there was an announcement that they were allowing car show wristbands into the indoor vendor room. We were so excited!
We headed inside for more shopping - and a break from the heat - and explored what the indoor vendors had to offer. I said hello to Donna from Donna Land, a vintage vendor I have met many a times - every summer at the Brimfield Show, this past may in Nashville, and now at Viva East. Then we splurged on some jewelry by Summer Blue Jewelry. If you like sparkly and vintage styled brooches, earrings, and more (similar to popular brands Luxulite or Splendette), GO CHECK THIS GIRL OUT! I love her attention to detail and the quality of her wares is above and beyond. I bought two pairs of clip on earrings from her at the show and know there will be more added to my collection soon!
After we shopped inside, we headed back outside to watch the pinup pageant final round and crowning. It drizzled a little as we watched the final gals participate in some Q&A but it was welcomed after enduring the hot sun all afternoon! After the judges announced the winners of the pageant, Helene and I decided that next year we'd enter the pageant for kicks and giggles. With the event so close to us, why the heck not? I think it'd be such a fun experience!
All in all, Viva East is promising and for its first year, it was done fairly well and decently organized. If they hadn't decided to let the car show attendees into the inside vendor room, it would have been a total bummer, though. For those who don't want to pay over $100 for the full weekender pass, the Saturday car show pass is the only option to partially attend.
The BEST thing these weekenders could do is offer full day passes so those who can't attend the entire weekend can still get the full experience even if they can only attend for 1 day.