Classic cars cruised through the parking lots of nine different retirement homes Thursday afternoon.

“One of our residents kept mentioning that it reminded her of high school, and that a couple of the cars were good for make-out material,” said Courtnei Corwin, resident experience coordinator at Garden Valley Retirement Residence.

At Linus Oakes Retirement Village the residents were also glad to see the cars coming through.

“It’s always a big event for us anyway, because it brings back such great memories for them,” Linus Oakes Retirement Village Activities Director Becky Brigham said. “They really, really enjoyed it.”

A rest home tour has been a longstanding part of Graffiti Weekend, which was scheduled to take place this week but was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic and social gathering guidelines set by the state to help curb the spread of the virus.

However, local car enthusiasts and car club members wanted to keep some of the traditions going, including the tour of the retirement homes.

“It’s good to see everyone come together like this,” car enthusiast Brett Parrett said. “As long as people keep reaching out, we’ll do it.”

Parrett organized several cruises this summer but didn’t organize Thursday’s cruise. He said the organizer of Thursday’s cruise wanted to stay anonymous.

Approximately 40 cars participated in Thursday’s cruise.

“The residents have just been absolutely thrilled to see the cars coming through here, even though they couldn’t all be together,” Bigham said. “They got to watch from their decks, windows and really enjoy them.”

Linus Oakes Retirement Village canceled its annual Graffiti event, where a live band plays and root beer floats are served, because of social gathering guidelines.

At Callahan Village Assistant Living residents had the opportunity to sit in chairs on the sidewalk and watch the cars go by. The cruise also went by Brookdale, Bridgewood Rivers Assisted Living, Curry Manor, Kempke’s Care Home, Riverview Terrace and Lisa Black Adult Foster Care before ending at the Cascade Community Credit Union where drivers indulged in ice cream.

Some of the servers at Garden Valley Retirement Residence wore 1950s sock hop costumes, as they usually do when the cars cruise by.

“We usually put a little ’50s theme on the day,” Corwin said. “We had some residents in our driveway area and we listened to some music.”

Sanne Godfrey can be reached at sgodfrey@nrtoday.com or 541-957-4203. Follow her on Twitter @sannegodfrey.

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