Red Deer Cruise Night hurt by summer’s poor weather

Cruise Night finale to be held next Thursday

A cold, wet summer did no favours for a weekly classic car show.

Red Deer Cruise Night, which has been held in the Parkland Mall parking lot on Thursday nights since May, certainly “didn’t have a record-breaking year,” said event CEO Dave Burden.

“The weather has been just abysmal this year. I think we’ve only really had 10 actual Cruise Nights due to the fact that it was either raining on us or people stayed away because of the cold,” said Burden.

The Cruise Night finale is scheduled for next Thursday, though there is expected to be a few more small shows held throughout the rest of October. The finale was going to happen this Thursday, but was pushed back due to rain.

The weekly event has been going for the past 16 or 17 summers.

“Cruise Night was started because we needed a place to go without … local enforcement agencies thinking we were out causing trouble,” said Burden.

“Our first Cruise Night was downtown, … and it was really only 20 cars – just 20 buddies who needed a place to hang out. Then it just started growing from word-of-mouth.”

The average show brings in 350-450 vehicles and has had as many as 570 in one night, according to Cruise Night’s Facebook page.

Burden said he will meet with Parkland Mall officials to discuss a possible return to the parking lot in front of the Goodlife Fitness.

It’s disappointed the summer has come to an end, Burden added.

“It’s a little saddening that we have to go put our vehicles away for another six months because they’re really hard to drive in the winter.

“We would definitely like to drive them a little longer, but it is what it is. We put them away so we can get them our for next spring – that was we won’t have to worry about rust and damage.”

Central Alberta’s classic car community is a very “tight-knit” group, said Burden.

“There is a lot of camaraderie. You go to one of these events and you can meet people and talk about likeminded things,” he said.

It isn’t just central Albertans that come to Cruise Night, he added.

“We’ve had vehicles from all over North America and we’ve actually had visitors from Europe come hit up the car show. We had one family from Germany last year … who planned their holidays through Alberta and Western Canada to make sure they can come to one of the Cruise Nights because they’ve seen it online.”

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