Summer means classic vehicles on display at the Bryan and Montpelier cruise-ins.
This past Thursday marked the kickoff of the local Cruise-Ins, when numerous classic vehicles turned out for the first Bryan Cruise-In on the Square of the season. This is the 27th year for the event, which takes place every Thursday evening in downtown Bryan through Aug. 25.
The show is free and often draws as many as 100 classic vehicles around the Bryan courthouse square, with cash door prizes, a DJ spinning classic hits and a weekly 50-50 raffle. There’s also women’s-only door prices during the June 16 (when the Cruise-In is held at the Arts and Education Building due to the Jubilee), July 14 and Aug. 11 cruise-ins.
“That’s always popular. They (women) love it,” said Dick Bruce, a founding member of the Cruise-In committee that oversees the cruise-ins with his wife Kathy, and fellow committee members Dana and Becky Andrews and Deb Conti. In addition, Ron Whitman and Ty Mikesell help set up barricades and direct vehicles around the square.
Food vendors and local restaurants are open and last year also was the first year of the Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area (DORA), which allows patrons to purchase specially designated alcoholic beverages at participating establishments and carry and consume them within the DORA boundaries — generally the blocks around the downtown square.
Bruce said organizers last year “hardly noticed” the DORA in effect. “There’s been no disruptions. It’s been very smooth,” he said.
Thursday’s warm, sunny weather and an ongoing decrease in COVID was a perfect kickoff to the season, said Bruce, owner of a 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air.
“I think everybody’s been looking forward to getting out of the house ... looking forward to the car shows and getting back into a fun routine,” he said, adding, “We hope this benefits Bryan and shows people Bryan is alive again.
The annual Montpelier Cruise-In takes place the second and fourth Tuesdays on Empire Street in Montpelier. The first cruise-in is June 14 and the final cruise-in is Aug. 23.
The Montpelier Cruise-In usually features up to 60 classic vehicles on display, along with games for those who bring their cars, with door prizes and also mystery bags that often are “unconventional,” but in a good way, organizer Mike Kannel said.
The event is free and there are food vendors on site, and food and beverages for sale by local businesses.