The 30th annual show celebrating all things mechanical returned April 30 for the first time since 2019.
The heavy traffic to get into Half Moon Bay on Sunday morning was the kind usually only reserved for one of the beautifully sunny and warm days that occasionally grace the coast this time of year. However, despite overcast skies, a brisk breeze and a competing Game 7 between the Golden State Warriors and Sacramento Kings, there were droves of people pouring into the Half Moon Bay Airport.
The airport hosted the 30th annual Pacific Coast Dream Machines Show April 30 for the first time since the pandemic. This gathering of mechanical ingenuity, power and style marked the milestone with a massive celebration. More than 2,000 machines of all kinds were on display, with some also accessible for attendees to sit or ride in: everything from hot rods and luxury cars to custom motorcycles, military vehicles and vintage warbirds. Tractors and dragsters on display were nods to Half Moon Bay’s agricultural history and the former Half Moon Bay Drag Strip.
Just like the vehicles in attendance, the crowd was diverse and eclectic, with many families. It had the feel of a small all-American fair and a large international exhibition rolled into one. Thousands of people filled the event space, which was spread out over the expanse of the airport and surrounding grass areas. In addition to the enormous amount of driving, flying, and working machines on display, there was live music, a kids’ play area, a robotics demo, craft vendors and various food and drink offerings from Coastside restaurants like Breakwater Barbecue and Half Moon Bay Brewing Company.
The day kicked off with a pre-show grand entrance and parade of vintage police cars before gates opened at 10 a.m. The show officially began with Bob Senz’ Big Crazy Cacklefest, a mass synchronized firing-up of the engines to honor show founder and chairman emeritus Bob Senz (which recurred at noon and 2 p.m.) Musicians played classic rock, R&B and soul hits as attendees perused the many machines.
It was the first time the self-proclaimed “Coolest Show on Earth” had been held since 2019. Concerns about the pandemic led to its cancellation in 2020 and 2021, and last year it was unexpectedly nixed due to limited space because of farming on the airport property.
Dream Machines marked the start of festival season on the Coastside, with the second annual Half Moon Bay Wine & Jazz Festival returning May 13, Fog Fest Sept. 23-24 and the Art & Pumpkin Festival Oct. 14-15.