JEFFERSON — March Madness is headed to historic downtown Jefferson traveling in a Mazda Miata.
Texas Bigfoot Conference founder Craig Woolheater is forging a new path as he plans to create a brand new annual event in downtown Jefferson, the March Miata Madness.
“I’m a member of the Lonestar Miata Club, which is one of four local clubs for Mazda Miata cars in Texas,” Woolheater said Wednesday. “The Lonestar Club is the club here for North Texas and the DFW (Dallas, Fort Worth) area. There is the Tejas Club based out of Austin, the Bluebonnet Club based out of San Antonio and the Houston Club based out of Houston.”
Woolheater said each year, the four clubs would rotate hosting the annual Texas Miata Roundup with the Lonestar Club last hosting it in 2018 and last year’s event being canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I was talking with Hollis Shadden in Jefferson, who does the Big Cypress Corvette Club and decided I wanted to host a Miata Club event and I wanted to do it in Jefferson,” Woolheater said. “I love hosting events and I love bringing business to Jefferson, so Hollis helped me set it up.”
The event is looking to bring about 40 to 45 Miatas to 100 East Austin Street in downtown Jefferson from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on March 27 for a “Show and Shine” event open to the public. Judging and awards will follow the public viewing time.
“Like the NCAA’s March Madness, we will have the “Final Four” and “Champion” of the Miatas,” he said.
Woolheater explained the Mazda Miata is broken down into four generations of models, with the first generation running from cars made in 1990 to 1997, skipping 1998, the second generation includes models from 1999 to 2005, the third generation 2006 to 2015 and the fourth generation includes models from 2016 to present.
“Like the Final Four, we will have an award for the top car in each of the four generations, followed by a best in show car for the championship,” Woolheater said.
The event is set to bring Miata owners from across the state of Texas, as well as some from out of state and Woolheater has a full weekend planned for the guests.
“The historic Jefferson Hotel is our host hotel for the weekend,” Woolheater said. “We have a drive planned to Lake O’ the Pines and another planned up U.S. 59 North before we head back to town for dinner. We are looking to have about 80 people so we will have two sessions of dinner at Riverport Barbecue in town the night of the car show, then we plan to attend Jodi Breckenridge’s Ghostwalk tour.”
On Sunday, the guests will make a drive to Caddo Lake for a tour of the east side of the lake, followed by lunch at the Big Pines Lodge and a private tour of Marshall resident Gene Ponder’s garage of collector’s cars.”
Woolheater said he hopes to show the beauty of East Texas to the Miata Club guests.
“I plan to make this a new annual event in Jefferson,” Woolheater said. “We kept it to a limit of about 40 cars this first time but we hope to grow the event each year.”
For more information about the event and to follow updates, visit the March Miata Madness Facebook event page at www.facebook.com/events/345220679869135/?ti=ls