The last time a flash mob of car aficionados came to the area, Burbank police had to shut down the southbound 5 freeway.
It was, true to its name, a mob scene, cops say: More than 1,200 cars showed up and allegedly shut shoppers out of the area. Tonight police are preparing for the worst and hoping for the best as another wave of custom vehicles heads for Burbank:
The Krispy Kreme Tuesdays event is billed on Facebook as the last car-show meet-up of its kind, “The Last Exile,” which could mean a lot of folks will come out for goodbyes.
The Krispy Kreme Tuesdays car show in November prompted Burbank police to shut down the south 5 as well as a few more roads (Victory Boulevard at Burbank Boulevard and Buena Vista Street and Empire Avenue) near the Empire Center, where the event is held, Sgt. Darin Ryburn told the Weekly.
(There's a Krispy Kreme inside the center.)
Organizers on Facebook warned police not to make things worse by cutting off parking:
You can cause unwanted traffic by blocking off a public parking area built to park vehicles and allow for parking for Krispy Kreme, Panda Express, Wendy's and many other food vendors that pay rent to make profits. We respect your supervision but ask for you to open your mind and be smart to not cause traffic yourselves.
The assembly is legal so long as other people aren't prevented from shopping and eating in the area, the sarge said. Ryburn:
Here's the problem with flash-mob car events. It prevents Joe Citizen from going to Target or Outback Steakhouse. Everybody has a right to drive around the city and visit. But when it gets to be too large, it creates a public nuisance and affects other people in the city.
And so Burbank PD will have all hands on deck, he said. Not only that but police from Glendale, Pasadena, South Pasadena and Alhambra will be there to help, too, he added.
And cops will have a “zero-tolerance” stance toward any violations, including drinking in public, traffic infractions and even illegal car modification, the sergeant said.
If the crowds grow to large, they will be moved out, he said: “We're here to protect everybody.”
All the fun starts at 9 p.m.
[Update at 11:20 p.m.]: ABC Los Angeles' Sid Garcia reported from the scene for the station, saying that more than 1,000 cars showed up along with 3,000 people.
It was crowded but peaceful, he said, with some vehicle-code citations but no arrests reported.
Things started to wind down at about 10:30 p.m., he said.