ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — The Rock Valley Mustang Club, a social club of drivers of classic and new Ford Mustangs, had the honor of leading Rockford’s Labor Day Parade on Monday.

The club was established in 1982 and members show their stock or modified hot rods at various area car shows throughout the summer.

The Mustang owners also promote charitable fundraisers, and its current sponsored charity is Bravehearts Therapeutic Riding Academy, in Harvard and Poplar Grove, which helps disabled Marines.

Following the parade, the drivers took their rides over to Davis Park for a Labor Day Car Show.

“We had probably 18 Mustangs in the parade,” said vice president Shawn Sweeny. “It’s awesome to celebrate the labor. I mean, we all got to work and it’s great to have a holiday to celebrate us, workers.”

The Ford Mustang has been built by union labor at Ford plants in Dearborn and Flat Rock, Michigan.

The quintessential American “pony car,” the Mustang debuted in 1964. It ignited the “muscle car” era of two-door coupes with powerful engines and inspired competitors such as the Chevrolet Camaro and the Dodge Challenger.

In addition to the base-level trim (sporting a 4.0 liter turbocharged 4-cylinder EcoBoost engine) and the GT (with a 5.0 liter V-8), for 2024, Ford announced the performance Dark Horse variant as well as a Dark Horse R racing machine. Last month, it announced a $300,000 supercar version, the Dark Horse GTD, aimed at taking on high-end European automakers.