Students to give refurbished car to family in need at Oxnard event

High school students and instructors in the youth automotive program DRAGG fix up a donated Toyota Matrix they'll be giving to a family in need in Oxnard on Saturday, May 8, 2021.

A dozen high school students will hand over keys to a car they’ve fixed up for a family in need on Saturday in Oxnard.

The moment will cap off a vehicle-heavy day that starts with a car show in Port Hueneme and a cruise through neighborhoods during which — with social distancing still a priority — residents can vote online for their favorite ride.

This year’s annual car giveaway through DRAGG, an after-school youth automotive program started by the Oxnard Police Department, has been updated with pandemic safety in mind. The car show, for example, won’t be open to the public and will be streamed online. The cruise is limited to about 65 participants who preregistered.

But other changes will bring the event closer to people who live in south Oxnard and Port Hueneme. The cruise route, which starts on Surfside Drive near the Port of Hueneme — the main sponsor — will wind through neighborhoods with cars grouped into packs of 15 or so before ending at the DRAGG facility on Graves Avenue in Oxnard, not far from the Murphy Auto Museum.

“Those neighborhoods don’t usually get the pomp and circumstance,” said Daniel Escobar, DRAGG’s program development manager, of the cruise route.