Well, it's that time of year again when BluePrint Engines' hometown of Kearney Nebraska open the asphalt to hot rodders from all over the USA. Ever since the first cruise night 27 years ago, this event keeps getting bigger and bigger, while adding more days and events to the weekend calendar.
Every year in July, the CNAC (Central Nebraska Auto Club) encourages anyone who wants to relive the memories of the “Good Ole Days” along with the love of the classic cars to come and enjoy in the fun. The event “Cruise Nite” is a four-day event. Customarily, events are held the third weekend in July (Wednesday thru Sunday.)
Cruise Nite begins Wednesday evening with a Classic Car Tour of area Assisted Living & Nursing Homes. Started in 2011, this was a HUGE hit and added to the annual festivities. This Kickoff event is a “Come as you are” and share your love of classic automobiles with our friends and loved ones.
The annual events kick-off “Picnic Style” on Wednesday evening in Old Town Kearney. This year's events are hosted again by Kearney’s Knights of Columbus at the KOC Hall, 1900 Central Avenue. The picnic is scheduled for 4 p.m. - 7 p.m.
Following the picnic car collectors are invited to participate in the Classic Car Tour to area Assisted Living and Nursing Homes. Participants should stage their cars in the large parking lot south of Kearney High School. Cars will follow a scheduled parade route visiting Kearney’s senior residents. The tour will conclude at the Petersen Sr. Center at Yanney Park. This has become one of the most exciting and enjoyable events.
Thursday evening begins with a get-together Show & Shine sponsored by Midway Auto Outlet. Oldies Music, Food & drink will be available. Bill Haley, Jr. & The Comets will perform live at The MerrymanPerforming Arts Center, 225 W. 22nd to complete the evening. Tickets are available by calling (308) 698-8052.
The “Get Together Show & Shine” at the Great Platte River Road Archway with oldies music and food and fun start the festivities, 5:30-7:30 p.m. The classic & collectible car auction is held with Rusty Rhynalds, auctioneer at the Buffalo County Fairgrounds, (308) 832-7407, 7:00 p.m. - 10:30 p.m.
The fun continues on Saturday morning with the registration of hundreds of classic vehicles that are parked on “The Bricks” in downtown Kearney for all to get up close with.
A “LIVE” concert featuring “Carstock,” local cover bands, and groups perform all types of classic music all day beginning at noon at the MONA -Museum of Nebraska Art, and featuring “Bases Loaded” at 8 p.m. New for 2016 is the BMX Triple Point Gold Cup Qualifier Race @ Tri-City BMX Track.
Contact Josh Osterhoudt (308)-870-5179. Races begin at 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. “Street Grudge Racing” and NAPA “Quick Race” featuring the Rocky Mountain Superchargers begins at 4 p.m. at Kearney Raceway Park. Contact Al Simmons (308) 750-2049 for more information.
Everyone in the surrounding area marks their calendar for this special Saturday to come and see the Show & Shine. Later, when it cools off, a Cruise Nite parade on “The Bricks” is featured. The streets are filled with classic cars and countless spectators taking in the parade. Don’t forget the burnout competition at Graham Tire on north 2nd avenue beginning at 7 p.m., 5708 2nd Ave.
The Cruise Nite weekend winds down on Sunday with the Hot Rod Reunion/Drag Races at the Kearney Raceway Park.
Behind the entire event is a philanthropic desire is to raise money for numerous charities in the Kearney Area. Among the charities that have benefited from Cruise Nite are Buffalo County Red Cross, Salvation Army, United Way, Flight for Hero’s, Make A Wish Foundation, Goodfellows, Jubilee Center, City of Kearney Police Department and scholarship for students in Automotive Tech.
For more information on the event, please visit the official Cruise Night website.
Here are some photos from past Cruise Night events: