2011 Summer Cruise coasts through Dawson Creek this weekend

The Mile 0 Cruisers car club is once again hosting the event, which has grown to become one of the premier attractions of the summer in Dawson Creek. The event takes place from July 8-10, and culminates on Sunday with a show-and-shine that is expected to draw over 200 entries from the B.C. and Alberta Peace regions and beyond.

Danny Schilds, treasurer for the car club, said pre-registrations for the Summer Cruise are higher than ever before at over 80, though the closure of Highway 97 due to the recent floods may prevent some from participating.

“The Pine Pass is really messing us up this year,” said Schilds. “We had a lot of guys preregistered from south of the Rockies, and now a lot of them are saying they don't want to bring their car over that road. Some are committed to going to the long way around.”

He added most participants register over the weekend anyway.

The event kicks-off Friday night with registration at the Co-op Mall from 6-9 p.m. The public is welcomed to come down and check out the rides as they arrive, while enjoying some music and a charity barbeque that will raise money for the Dawson Creek and District Hospital Foundation.

On Saturday, registered participants are treated to a treasure hunt poker rally and a banquet, and the day ends with music and entertainment at the 1950s-themed Stuie's Diner.

On Sunday, downtown Dawson Creek will be filled with vehicles of every vintage for the show-and-shine from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

“There will be Model Ts from the early 1900s, right up to at least two, 2012-model vehicles, and everything in between, but especially a lot from the '50s and '60s,” said Schilds.

He added there will be an international flavour as the show will feature some cars made in Britain, France and Japan.

He said they will also welcome special guests from the So-Cal Speed Shop store in Spruce Grove, Alta., a business specializing in custom hot rods.

“They're coming up with a 60-foot trailer with items in it, and I think they're probably bringing two hot rods with it.”

He said the club made a lot of contacts with drag racers in Edmonton and some have committed to coming up here for next year's show.

Schilds said he is encouraging more local people to enter the show-and-shine, and that applies to anybody in town who has a car they like and want to show.

“It doesn't have to be finished – there will be show cars there for sure, but the vast majority are somebody's car that they love and they drive. The year doesn't matter, the make doesn't matter and the model doesn't matter – we have everything from classic '67 Corvettes to four-door Plymouth sedans from the '70s,” he said, adding trucks and motorcycles are also more than welcome.

He said it is only $20 to register a vehicle for the show, and entry includes a t-shirt, dash plaque, hotwheels key chain worth about $100, a special gift, and the chance to win awards, gas cards and other prizes, and even a Chevy small-block engine from Bumper to Bumper. Participants can register additional vehicles for just $10 more.

For the general public, he said it's really an opportunity to experience the history and art form of motor vehicles, and the chance to hear some great stories from the owners of those vehicles.

“Some of the stories behind some of these cars are pretty amazing, and that makes the weekend right there, just getting the chance to talk to some of the owners.”

Schilds said it is amazing how much the Summer Cruise has grown since it began.

“When we first started we were looking at 15 or 20 cars …when we got to 50 we thought we were doing pretty good …then we first broke 100 about 10 years ago, and that was big, and now we are constantly over 200, and depending on the weather and the roads, over 250 is not unlikely. For a town this size and where we are, it's a very big show.”

He added the event would not be possible without the many local sponsors, many of which have been supporters of the Summer Cruise since it began.

“Our sponsors have always been really supportive. People come from out of town and they look at our sponsor list and they're just amazed at the sponsors we have. We have a number that have been sponsors ever since we started.”

More more information on the Summer Cruise or to register, go online to www.summercruise.ca or contact Danny Schilds as Aspol Ford at (250) 782-5804.