WINSTON — The Winston Summer Nite Cruise is continuing to grow.
The cruise that emphasizes muscle cars, but is open to all cars, pickups and motorcycles, has increased from 175 registered entrants to 225 to 300 over the past three years.
Organizer Clay Caldwell is hopeful and optimistic the number will continue to grow during Saturday’s 27th annual gathering in downtown Winston.
The cruise is slated for 5 to 10 p.m. Registration will begin at 3 p.m. in the Grandway Shopping Center parking lot. The entry fee is $1 per vehicle, but an investment of $5 will also get each car a dash plaque. T-shirts at $15 each will also be available at registration.
“Last year was one of our best cruises,” Caldwell said. “The traffic was calmer. Only two tickets were written to people being out of line with their cars. In previous years more had been written.
“People were real courteous of each other, everything went smooth and even the police department commented favorably on it,” he added.
Caldwell explained that there had been concerns expressed in the past about traffic control on the Winston cruise course, but that more volunteers along the 4-mile course are helping to monitor traffic control.
“I just hope everybody comes out and has a really good time,” said Caldwell, president of the Winston-Dillard Area Festival Association. “I’m expecting a lot of fun.”
While the cruise does attract mainly classic cars, the event is open to all vehicles, including trucks and four-wheel-drives. That’s different than Roseburg’s Saturday night cruise, which is restricted to cars and pickups dated 1975 or earlier.
“There’s no limitations on cars, the variety of cars, but most of them are older,” Caldwell said. “Winston gets more of the muscle cars, the ones from the ’60s and ’70s. There is an emphasis on muscle cars. People in Winston love muscle.”
From the Grandway parking lot, the cruise route proceeds west on Highway 42, right on Abraham Street to Lookingglass Road, right to Old Highway 99 and then back to the center of town.
Music is scheduled at three locations along the cruise route: Velvet Whiskey will play at Civic Wayside Park from 6 to 8 p.m., Winston Drive In will host a live band and a resident on Abraham Avenue will host a front yard barbecue and band.
Vendors, mainly offering food, will be set up in Civic Park.
“We’ve had a great deal of support from sponsors and some people who are not members of the association have stepped up and wanted to help,” Caldwell said. “There’s been a lot of enthusiasm and support.”
More information on the cruise can be obtained by calling Caldwell at 541-530-7862.
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