Standing on the bluff at Blackburn Park, overlooking downtown Pacific, two distinct events can create a panorama that eclipses tree-lined streets — the occasional Meramec River flood, which spills into all of downtown south of the railroad tracks, and the annual Cruise Night vehicle extravaganza when people fill the streets north of the tracks.
Plans for the 2012 Cruise Night are under way with a few changes.
The event is scheduled for Saturday, June 9, from noon to 9 p.m. in downtown Pacific.
Traditionally, car lovers, dressed in tank tops and cut-off jeans, make their way among the show cars closely lined along the curb that owners spend many hours, and much money, to maintain.
Organizers say it is not a “car show,” because it does not have sanctioned judges who rate the cars, so they came up with the name cruise night, because cars are invited to cruise over for the event.
In past cruises, some vehicles have not been operable on state roadways, and were delivered to the event on trailers.
On Second Street, along a carnival midway of food and trinket booths, a sea of people can be seen eating cotton candy and funnel cakes. Booth spaces for this year’s event are still available, organizers say.
Crowds estimated between 12,000 and 20,000 have visited previous cruises, making it easily the largest event staged in the city.
According to the Pacific Partnership, the event sponsor, activities will include refreshments, vendors, music, games and a beer garden.
Cost to enter a vehicle is $10. Cars register at Third and West Union streets, beginning at 11 a.m. the day of the event.
Dash plaques, commemorating the 2012 Cruise Night, will be provided for the first 300 entries.
All registered entries will be included in a drawing for cash prizes. The prizes are $300 for first place, $200 for second and $100 for third.
The drawing will be held at 6 p.m. Vehicles must be present to win. The Pacific Partnership will present the prizes.
Organizers are inviting the public to get involved in planning and staging the event, which is billed as the most popular public event held in the city.
The Cruise Night committee meets every Tuesday evening at 6:30 p.m. at the Route 66 Railfan Center at the corner of St. Louis and First streets. Meetings are open to the public and those interested are invited to attend and get involved in this community event.
For more information call (636) 271-4844. For vendor information call (314) 809-8791.