If you are a fan of classic automobiles and want to help out the community, next week’s Bainbridge Island Classic Cruise-In may be right up your lane.
The event has been up and running locally for 18 years and is sponsored by Modern Collision, an auto repair service on the island. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event will now be made up of a parade of cars traveling around the island where folks can stop along the side of the road or outside their homes to give praise for these classics.
In years past, the car-cruise was a drive-in and park event at the Bainbridge First Baptist Church where food would be served and participants could pull up a lawn chair to socialize and enjoy the beauty of the cars under some sunshine before heading out on the route. This year, no congregating will be occurring at the church.
“I feel it is a fairly safe event,” Strom said. “We are all driving in our own cars; very little contact with others. There is a little risk if people get out of their car prior to our departure at the church. But most stay in their cars and those that don’t generally have masks on are keeping their distance.”
The primary focus and effort of the event is donating to Project Backpack, an organization that provides essential school supplies to students in need, assisting with school fees and other needs. The car-cruise has been donating to the organization since 2002 and hopes to raise $6,000 this year, according to event organizer Tara Strom.
Initially, the event began with just a few people meeting up to simply hang out and gaze upon their prized possessions but has now evolved from about 20 cars per event to well over 100 cars in some instances, according to Strom.
“There are quite a few car enthusiasts on the island,” Strom said.
In the past couple of car cruises, which take place every month, Strom said the event has been averaging around 90 cars including classics, muscle cars, street rods, electric cars and motorcycles.
“Any car can join,” Strom said. “If you don’t have an old car or bike, you can show your support by waving as we drive by. That is really the best part of the event, seeing everyone alongside the road waving as we go by. We have had more than 300 people standing on the road waving and cheering.”
Each month brings a new route on the island. Next week’s route will start at Bainbridge First Baptist Church and go through areas such as Sportsman Club Road, High School Road, Flecther Bay Road, New Brooklyn Road, Manitou Beach Drive, Falk Road and Sunrise Drive before ending at Faye Bainbridge Park. The route typically takes an hour.
This month’s Bainbridge Island Classic Car Cruise will take place Tuesday, July 28 from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Participants will meet at First Baptist Church at the intersection of Highway 305 and Madison Ave. Donations to Project Backpack will be accepted at the start of the event. Folks can also donate to the cause by visiting bainbridgeislandcarshow.com.