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Downtown Pittsburg to host Bajas on Broadway

There will be a lot of traffic on Broadway Thursday evening, but it won't be the typical parade of sedans, SUVs and pickups. The cars that will compete in Baja SAE-Kansas this weekend at Pittsburg State will be on public display during the inaugural Bajas on Broadway event, which will take place from 7-9 p.m. in downtown Pittsburg.

There will be a lot of traffic on Broadway Thursday evening, but it won't be the typical parade of sedans, SUVs and pickups.

The cars that will compete in Baja SAE-Kansas this weekend at Pittsburg State will be on public display during the inaugural Bajas on Broadway event, which will take place from 7-9 p.m. in downtown Pittsburg. The cars will line Broadway from 4th to 8th streets, and many of the team members will be present to talk about their vehicle.

The purpose of the event is to give the community an up-close look at the student-built cars that have come from as far away as South Korea to compete in the event.

"We have so many awesome Baja cars from all around the world in our city for four or five days, and we thought a car show would be a great way to show them off," said Trent Linbloom, assistant professor of automotive technology and one of the co-organizers of Baja SAE-Kansas. "So we're going to block off a portion of Broadway and line them up for everyone to see."

Lindbloom said video screens at the event will feature scenes from the Baja SAE - Kansas event in 2011.

"We've been talking about Baja so much and for so long, and we want to make sure the public has an understanding of what this is all about," he said. "By seeing the cars and watching the videos, they should get a clear picture of why having this event in Pittsburg is so exciting for all of us."

The Baja event, which will feature 100 teams from nine countries, is set for May 22-25. Teams from across the U.S., Egypt, Canada, Mexico, South Korea, Argentina, Venezuela, Bangladesh and India are expected to compete.

Lindbloom said the downtown event will also give many of the Baja teams their first glimpse at the heart of the community.

“A lot of the teams who come here don’t make it downtown,” he said. “Their main focus is on our campus or at the course. Bajas on Broadway will allow them to see a part of our community that they normally wouldn’t visit.”

The official public opening ceremony will begin at 8 a.m. Friday, May 23 on the north side of the Kansas Technology Center.

Throughout Friday, teams will participate in a variety of inspections, tests and practice runs.

Various competitive events will take place on Saturday and Sunday, including the four-hour endurance event. This event is held over a one and one half mile course that is intended to test the capabilities of each of the off-road vehicles.

More information, including a full schedule of events, is available at pittstate.edu/baja.

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