2023 March 14, Tuesday
BlairToday Staff Writer
The sound of revving engines and the sight of classic cars cruising the streets of Blair can only mean one thing – Blair Cruise Night is in full swing. Started by local resident Matt Saunders in 2020, the event has become a beloved tradition for car enthusiasts and casual observers alike.
Blair Cruise Night (Saturday, May 6, 5PM) is an opportunity for people to gather and drive their vehicles around town, just like the old days. Those who prefer to watch can line the streets and take in the sights and sounds of the classic cars passing by. Saunders, a passionate car enthusiast, created the event out of a desire to share his love of cars with the community.
Cruising events like Blair Cruise Night have a rich history in American culture. In the 1950s and 60s, cruising was a popular pastime that brought people together. Teenagers and young adults would gather on the weekends to socialize and show off their cars. Cruising events were also a way to showcase the latest car models and aftermarket modifications.
While cruising events declined in popularity in the 1970s, they have experienced a resurgence in recent years. Today, many communities host their own cruising events, such as car shows, classic car cruises, and charity events. These events attract car enthusiasts of all ages and backgrounds and serve as a way to celebrate the history and culture of the automobile.
Blair Cruise Night follows in the footsteps of these historic events, providing a platform for car enthusiasts to come together and share their passion for cars. The rules for the event are straightforward and simple. Participants must follow the standard rules of the road, including adhering to speed limits and stopping at stop lights and signs. No burnouts are allowed, and drivers must be courteous to others on the road and those watching from the sidelines. Any street-legal vehicle is welcome, from vintage cars to modern sports cars and motorcycles.
“Blair Cruise Night started in 2020 when car shows were getting canceled because of Covid. I was missing going to the shows and seeing cars, so I decided to start a cruise in Blair.”Matt Saunders
Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, the first Blair Cruise Night exceeded Saunders’ expectations. He says, “At the first cruise I was hoping to get a dozen cars to drive around. We ended up with hundreds of cars, filled the Walmart parking lot and had cars lined up down the street.” Saunders himself pays for the event’s flyers and advertising out of his own pocket, and there are no participation fees.
Saunders has no personal liability if something goes wrong or someone gets hurt, as drivers’ insurance covers any accidents that may occur. When he first contacted the city, he was told that no permits were required since the event was not considered a parade, and the streets would not be closed off.
But Blair Cruise Night is not the only cruising event in Nebraska. Here are a few more current or past cruising events that are popular among car enthusiasts in the state:
- Kearney Cruise Nite – This event takes place in Kearney, Nebraska, and features classic cars, street rods, and muscle cars. The event includes a show and shine, a burnout contest, and a cruise down the city’s main drag.
- Ashland Cruise Night – This event takes place in Ashland, Nebraska, and includes classic cars, trucks, and motorcycles. The event includes a cruise down Main Street, a burnout contest, and live music.
- Norfolk Classic Car Cruise Night – This event takes place in Norfolk, Nebraska, and features classic cars and trucks. The event includes a cruise down Norfolk Avenue and a show and shine.
- Fremont Cruise Nite – This event takes place in Fremont, Nebraska, and features classic cars, trucks, and motorcycles. The event includes a cruise down Main Street, a burnout contest, and live music.
- McCook Classic Car Cruise Night – This event takes place in McCook, Nebraska, and includes classic cars and trucks. The event features a cruise through the town’s streets and a show and shine.
- Omaha Car Council Cruise Nights – This event takes place in Omaha, Nebraska, and features classic and custom cars. The event includes a cruise down Center Street, a car show, and live music.
- North Platte Car Club Classic Cruise Night – This event takes place in North Platte, Nebraska, and features classic cars, trucks, and motorcycles. The event includes a cruise down Jeffers Street, a car show, and a burnout contest.
Blair Cruise Night is an exciting event that has something for everyone, whether you’re a classic car aficionado or just looking for a fun evening out. It’s become a much-loved tradition for the community, and Saunders plans to continue hosting it for years to come. If you’re a car enthusiast or simply curious about the event, come and join in the fun at the next Blair Cruise Night.
When asked “was there anything else about Blair Cruise Night we should add?” Matt said, “Old and new cars, trucks and bikes are welcome. If it’s street legal, bring it out.”