The Cinco de Mayo parade wasn’t the only event celebrated this past weekend in Southwest Detroit. The 17th annual Blessing of the Lowriders also took place at St. Anne Church.
Back in 1997, the event was started by a group of Hispanic teenagers who rode cars and bikes, but did not want to be stereotyped by their community as gang members.
Local car enthusiast Victor Villalobos helped the youth to be seen in a more positive light. Villalobos arranged to bring the youth to St. Anne Church, where Father Maurice Restivo blessed their bikes and cars after mass.
It was the first of many blessings.
WDET’s Ron Lyons Jr speaks with Villalobos, who says the event is not so much about the cars, but about who drives them.
“The blessing was more focused on the drivers, their family and friends, and their wellbeing and their safety, more than the cars themselves. The cars are beautiful, the time, work, and labor is great, but what these cars are actually doing is bringing families together,” says Villalobos.
The event, which started in 1997, takes place every year on Livernois Avenue and Otis Street in Southwest Detroit after the Cinco De Mayo parade, on the Sunday before May 5.