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Red Deer Cruise Night a car lover’s dream

Red Deer Cruise Night is all about having pride in your ride.

Red Deer Cruise Night is all about having pride in your ride.

The weekly car show, which typically takes place on Thursdays, entered its 23rd season this year. It has had many homes throughout the City of Red Deer over the years, but it’s currently located in Parkland Mall’s northeast parking lot.

“You don’t have to have a classic ride,” explained Red Deer Cruise Night CEO Dave Burden.

“You can have a brand new car, it doesn’t really matter. If you have pride in your ride, then there’s a place for you here. As you’re walking through the parking lot, you’ll notice some have rust, some are brand new, some are classics. Everything’s welcome – if you’re proud of it, somebody else will probably think it’s pretty cool too.”

Red Deer Cruise Night began as just a small event and now has hundreds of vehicles on display every week.

“There was a group of six to eight of us, back when fuel was actually a reasonable price, and we would drive all night long,” said Burden.

“We’d stop in a parking lot to hang out and cops would show up. We’d get chased out of that parking lot, so we’d go to another parking lot and we’d get chased out again.

“We weren’t trying to do anything bad, we just wanted to cruise with our cars. … It gets people out and gets the kids out – just like anything, without the kids, your sport will die.”

Burden then approached the City of Red Deer about hosting a weekly car show.

“We had about 20 guys show up the first week. After about a month or so we had 30. Within two years that first lot we had was full, so we moved across the street to a bigger lot – we filled that one the night week opened,” he said.

Today, the event has food trucks and live music to go along with the rides on display.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Red Deer Cruise Night would see about 600 vehicles a week, Burden noted.

“Now with the cost of fuel and everything, we’ve been slowly coming back. One of our staff lives in Edmonton and she was talking to people who thought it was cancelled years ago. A lot of people like that are coming back again,” he said.

While they haven’t returned to the numbers they were reaching prior to the pandemic, this year’s grand opening featured about 450 vehicles.

Red Deer Cruise Night also hosts Sylvan Lake Cruise Night 6-9 p.m. every Friday from May to October in the parking lot across from the Nexus Centre. The group also puts on other shows throughout Central Alberta, including ones at assisted-living facilities.

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Sean McIntosh

About the Author: Sean McIntosh

Sean joined the Red Deer Advocate team in the summer of 2017. Originally from Ontario, he worked in a small town of 2,000 in Saskatchewan for seven months before coming to Central Alberta.
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