Cruise-In offers classics, rat rods and more
Calling all car enthusiasts in Columbia County. The annual St. Helens Elks Cruise-In is this weekend.
The St. Helens Elks Lodge will be hosting its 11th annual Cruise-In Saturday, July 28, with events starting at 8 a.m. and running until 2 p.m.
Show organizers are looking for car aficionados and enthusiasts to polish up their rides and bring them down. While entry to the show is free, car owners who want to join the display can register the day of the event by paying a $20 fee.
The St. Helens Elks Lodge is located at 350 Belton Road.
John Yarbor, an Elks member and chairman of the car show, said he is looking forward to this year's event.
"We're looking to just have a good time for people and have a nice place for them to come," Yarbor said.
Two awards each in 17 different categories will be handed out during the show. Categories include best vehicle based on decade of production, best truck, best super stock/all stock, best modified or tricked out vehicle, best motorcycle, best rat rod, and best "under construction vehicle," meaning a vehicle is in the process of being restored or revamped but not yet complete. The variety of awards encourages a huge array of vehicle enthusiasts to get involved.
"People that bring their cars out there, they're really proud of them," Yarbor said.
Volunteer Gordon Thistle explained that while some car owners preregistered, many will likely show up and register Saturday morning.
"Well, [I hope] everybody has a good time. That's the goal. Everybody likes to show off their car and shine them up and bring them out and meet people and see people they only see at the car shows," Thistle said.
While the annual show provides a venue for car lovers to not only display their own wheels and admire others, it also serves as a charity fundraiser. All proceeds from the show are donated to the Elks Children's Eye Clinic. The clinic operates at the Oregon Health and Science University Casey Eye Institute in Portland, where pediatric and young adult vision services are offered.
The Elks Lodge also will be serving breakfast from 8 to 11 a.m., lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., will host a silent auction and a 50/50 raffle, have music and a beer garden, and sell t-shirts at the event. At 10 a.m., the Elks will kick off the car show with a live performance of the National Anthem and a flag-raising, Yarbor added.
Thistle and Yarbor said the Cruise-In wouldn't be possible without the generosity of sponsors and the time and effort of volunteers who have helped plan the event and will help host it this weekend.
"Things change from year to year depending on who's doing it, but we've always had a good group of Elks to support it," Yarbor said.