From Wednesday to Sunday this week, the roads of Douglas County will fill with beautiful cars and pickups from past decades. From Chevy's to Fords, Plymouths to Studebakers.
Owners enjoy pulling out their beautiful vehicles, polished to a glistening shine.
Our youngest daughter learned from a young age to keep her hands in her pockets while looking at cars to resist temptation to touch the shiny paint. Both of our girls have donned poodle skirts and saddle shoes to get in the spirit of the weekend. It's the perfect setting for making memories as well as reminiscing.
The annual Graffiti Night Cruise has been a Wilson family tradition for over 20 years. We've been in the driver's seat as well as the curb. It can be great for families of all ages.
Here's how to make it safe and fun for everyone:
- Make sure the younger members of your group get a restful day. The cruise can be loud and stimulating with all of the activity going on around you. It gets crowded too.
- Pack good snacks. Although there are some fun places to buy food, variety may be limited to sugar laden foods.
- Be flexible. Certain viewing spots can be hard to secure. There are various choices all over the route that include cool spots over the river and shaded areas as well.
- Don't allow children to sit off the curb. I've seen some close cars where overheating vehicles are trying to pull over and folks have to scramble to get them off the street.
- We have at least one close call every year involving children or families walking in front of the cars to cross the street.
- These are old cars and the brakes are not as responsive as newer cars. Even if they have good brakes, cars like our '58 Chevy are heavy. They may seem to be going slow and as obvious as it might seem, crossing the street before these cars have stopped is a bad idea. You'd be surprised at how many people bolt in front of us every year.
- Children chasing candy is even worse. Every year, someone throws too short and kids scramble in front of oncoming traffic. Cruisers aren't supposed to throw candy but some still do so be diligent on keeping kids from chasing it.
- When you register at the beginning of the cruise they hand you a list of rules with your dash plaque. Please read the rules and follow them closely. They all involve the safety of your families and of spectators.
- It's against the rules to throw candy. Still, every year we end up behind cars who insist on tossing sweet treats to the waiting children and every year we have at least one close call with a small child running out after candy.
- As mentioned above, as fun as this seems, it's terribly dangerous.
- Be mindful of folks on the curb when you pull over. They aren't always paying attention with all the activity everywhere.
- This isn't a night for advertising or trying to spread your message. Folks want to relax and get away from the cares of life. This is a time to build relationships and bump into old friends. Pushing your agenda isn't inviting, it's puts people off and puts a damper on the festive mood.
There is a time and a place for everything. Graffiti is the place to set your cares aside, if only for a night.
For schedules of events and more information, go to Graffiti Weekend