Red Deer Cruise Night helped five-year-old Freyja Rolfson celebrate her birthday by driving by her family’s home Thursday. Photo by SEAN MCINTOSH/Advocate staff

Red Deer Cruise Night helps residents celebrate birthdays

Red Deer Cruise Night events are unable to continue in traditional fashion due to COVID-19, but that isn’t stopping car lovers from hitting the road to show off their machines.

The group recently began offering drive-by cruises, where cars will ride past a residence to help someone celebrate a milestone, such as a birthday or anniversary.

“We do this for all ages. We’ve had as young as a couple years old to someone who was almost 60,” said Dave Burden, Red Deer Cruise Night CEO.

With the provincial government not allowing gatherings of more than 15 people this summer, the regular cruise night gatherings weren’t going to be possible, said Burden.

“When we get 600 or 700 vehicles out there, you can see up to 10,000 people,” he said.

“But we decided we still want to be able to enjoy our rides, and we figured the best way to do that is to give people who are stuck inside their homes some happiness.”

There have been about 12 birthday cruises so far, with several more scheduled throughout the first two weeks of May.

“Everybody is welcome to join in these rides as well. You don’t need to own any kind of hotrod or anything. If you want to show some support for people locked in their house, come join the parade,” said Burden.

Anyone who sees a drive-by cruise coming down their street is asked to stay on their porch or near their homes.

“We don’t want them out on the street, where it looks like an actual parade, with people rubbing shoulders. We want people to stay on their property and respect the COVID-19 rules,” said Burden.

Red Deer Cruise Night will also hold events called Take Over Your Town on Thursday evenings.

“We’re encouraging everybody, whether they come here to Red Deer, or if they want to stay in their local community, to cruise around town and have a good time, like in the old days,” said Burden.

“But we do want to remind everybody who’s involved in these events that they have to adhere to social distancing, so make sure you don’t get out of your vehicles to shake hands or give hugs.”

For more information, visit

Anyone interested in requesting a drive-by cruise is asked to give at least a couple days’ notice so arrangements can be made.

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Red Deer Cruise Night is offering drive-by cruises to help residents celebrate milestones, such as birthdays. Photo by SEAN MCINTOSH/Advocate staff

Red Deer Cruise Night helped five-year-old Freyja Rolfson celebrate her birthday by driving by her family’s home Thursday. Photo by SEAN MCINTOSH/Advocate staff

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