Premiere Cruise Night a huge community draw
West Fargo's first ever Cruise Night last Thursday evening bordered on perfection as Sheyenne Street came alive with the sights and sounds of classic automobiles, all at their show-stopping finest.
Julie Yourczek, communications and events coordinator for the West Fargo Area Chamber of Commerce, who coordinated this show along with Toppers members Cody Wendelbo and Wayne Rud, estimated that well over 250 cars participated, with at least 225 lining the actual roadway itself, several more featuring in adjacent parking's lots, and the remainder 'cruising' Sheyenne Street unencumbered by stop signs or traffic restrictions.
'Our first time out, we were hoping for 50 cars," Yourczek said. "But they just kept showing up, most of them hearing about the event by word-of-mouth. We heard really great reviews with everyone saying they totally enjoyed the evening. Those cruising in their vehicles liked the fact they could drive all the way through the display route on Sheyenne Street without having to stop and start. The event was also described as 'smooth' from the police department perspective."
The west side of the roadway from 7th Avenue to Main Street was cordoned off for the vehicles to lineup and the front side left open but protected so spectators could walk in safety and take their time 'viewing.'
The warm skies and calm winds also added to the pleasure, with hundreds of people taking advantage of the beautiful weather conditions for a leisurely stroll, many with young children in strollers in tow, other youngsters riding bicycles, and several staking their perfect spot to take in the activity from the comfort of their personalized lawn chairs.
Businesses along the route participated by establishing food concessions with both the VFW and Silver Dollar Bar setting up shop outside, serving up a variety of food and beverage selections with supplies disappearing quickly.
Needless to say, organizers are pleased with the outcome of the initial cruise night and are looking forward to hosting two more this season, the next Thursday, August 19, followed by another Thursday, Sept. 16, in advance of the annual West Fargo West Fest community day celebration.
Yourczek said that future events will encourage added participation from other businesses along the route wishing to be a part of the evening of fun.
On that note, she said the goal is to keep growing the event by adding subsidiary activity, i.e. drawings for door prizes, and possibly music. "We are confident the event can grow more and be an even bigger community attraction for residents and visitors."
West Fargo Area Chamber chair Kathy Lewin agreed. "Cruise Night turned out to be a terrific event. We heard such wonderful feedback and are looking forward to it being bigger and better each time. It was so nice to see Sheyenne Street come alive. If we can keep activities like this going, it will be a dynamic way to reinvigorate an extremely important part of our former 'downtown' area."