Saturday, October 25, 2014

Free cruise event making trip to Garnett square

By ABBY ECKEL, Herald Staff Writer | 7/26/2013

GARNETT — Area residents are invited to take a trip down memory lane.

The Lake Garnett Cruisers group is playing host to its third annual Can-U-Cruise event, which is expected to help benefit local food pantries and bring back the “good ol’ days,” Susan Wettstein, president of the Lake Garnett Cruisers, said.

GARNETT — Area residents are invited to take a trip down memory lane.

The Lake Garnett Cruisers group is playing host to its third annual Can-U-Cruise event, which is expected to help benefit local food pantries and bring back the “good ol’ days,” Susan Wettstein, president of the Lake Garnett Cruisers, said.

“We’d like to create an old-fashioned Saturday night,” she said. “You’d hear a lot of comments about the ‘good ol’ days’ when everybody came up town Saturday night to see what was going on.”

The Cruisers is a group of car hobbyists who get together to put on car and motorcycle shows, Wettstein said. Instead of having owners of classic cars come and set up for a parked event, participants are encouraged to drive around the square, she said.

“We’re just having what we’re calling a rolling cruise night,” she said. “Many times a cruise night is a static display where the classic and custom cars and motorcycles converge and sit there and the public can look at them, but we’re encouraging our participants to come and actually cruise the square.”

The event is scheduled 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Aug. 3 and has no admission fee for the public and no entry fee for participants with classic or custom cars, Wettstein said. The public and participants simply are asked to bring canned food or other nonperishable items.

“This time of year is when [food pantries] really need those things most,” she said. “A lot of times they’re given donations during the holidays, but this is the time they get empty and need help.”

Local businesses and restaurants are asked to stay open or reopen for the duration of the event, Wettstein said. A live band and disc jockey also are scheduled.

“We’ll have dash plaques and door prizes,” she said. “We’ll have a frozen T-shirt contest where we freeze T-shirts then you pay to play. ... Depending on how many people we get to do it increases the amount of money you could get if you win.”

Garnett has deep roots when it comes to showing off the city’s muscle with custom and classic cars, Wettstein said.

“There’s a lot of car history here in Garnett,” she said. “There used to be SCCA (Sports Car Club of America) national sports car races that were held from 1959 to 1972 at Lake Garnett. There’s a lot of famous racers that have been to Garnett in some capacity or another — whether it be sports cars or go-kart racing.”

The car cruise previously has been organized on U.S. 59, which runs through Garnett, Wettstein said, but this year will mark the first time the cruise officially journeys to the square.

“We decided that it would be a good alternative to be on the square,” she said. “Car show people like to come down to the square and we have some antique shops and nice places to eat within walking distance, so it was our compromise for not having a car show in June.”

The public is welcome to park on Fourth Avenue, Fifth Avenue and Oak Street, she said. Participants with classic or custom cars are encouraged to cruise the square for the public to get a feel for how Saturday nights used to be, Wettstein said.

“It’s one thing to see cars sitting, but it’s another to actually hear them and see them roll,” she said. “We’re encouraging people to make it a night to come down and eat at local restaurants and walk and cruise the square and just have fun.”

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