Gumball 3000 set in Santa Monica on Saturday

Santa Monica Convention & Visitors Bureau will kick off the Gumball 3000 on Saturday, May 2. The 3,000-mile cross-country
route will showcase more than 100 cutting-edge cars, including the ‘greenest’
hybrid to date, and electric vehicles of the future. The cars will stop in
other world-class American cities such as Las Vegas, New Orleans and Miami.

Free family-friendly events for
the community kick off on Friday, May 1, when the cars will be on display to
the public starting at 9:30 a.m. at the 1550 parking lot, just north of the
Santa Monica Pier. Gumball 3000 will be holding a free concert in the Arizona
block of Santa Monica’s Third Street Promenade at 7 p.m., with live
performances by L.A.-based rap duo U-N-I, Cypress Hill’s DJ Muggs, and The
Cuban Brothers.  An exclusive
after-party will be held for Gumballers and VIP guests at Viceroy Santa Monica,
where the drivers will be staying during the kick-off festivities.

After an address from Santa
Monica Mayor Ken Genser, each car will be announced as they start their engines
at 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 2. The drivers include a diverse cross-section of
celebrities, moguls and automotive enthusiasts, who will proudly show off their
rides as their journey begins down Ocean Avenue. Skateboarding legend Tony Hawk,
Oscar-winning actor Adrien Brody, and David Hasselhoff are just some of the big
names set to take the wheel this year. The rally will be broadcast on
television and the Internet, exposing Santa Monica to an audience of over 60
million worldwide.

The Gumball 3000 Rally was
founded in 1998 by Maximillion Cooper with the aim of uniting people through
popular culture, which makes Santa Monica a fitting starting point for this
year’s coast-to-coast road trip. Santa Monica is the western end of the
legendary Route 66, and 2009 is a year to celebrate the city’s colorful
lifestyle and many of its popular icons. Road races in Santa Monica date back
to the early 20th century, and SMCVB will commemorate that history with limited
edition t-shirts that will be sold in each of the three Santa Monica Visitors
Center locations. Proceeds from the t-shirts will benefit the Santa Monica
Historical Society, which opens a new museum in Fall 2009.

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