Classic cars take center stage this weekend

Submitted Photo This 1956 Chevrolet is a classic. More classic cars will be on display this Saturday on Minot’s Main Street.

More than 150 classic cars are expected to line Minot’s Main Street this Saturday when Dakota Cruisers hosts the 25th anniversary edition of its annual car show.

Activities begin Friday. Cars will leave from the Clarion Hotel at 8:45 a.m. to cruise to Burlington, then on to Berthold for lunch before stopping at the Carpio Cenex. A photo shoot will take place at Lake Darling.

Back at the Clarion, a hot rod rodeo begins a 6 p.m., with events such as balancing a car on a beam and muffler rapping, with the loudest muffler winning. There also will be blindfolded golf cart drivers navigating traffic cones while guided by passengers.

On Saturday, cars will be set up on Main Street from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. This is the second year the show has been hosted in downtown Minot.

Dakota Cruisers draws members from a wide area. A number of them and other car owners will be coming from Manitoba and Saskatchewan in Canada, Minnesota, Montana and South Dakota as well as North Dakota to show their vehicles. People will be able to vote for their favorites, and Minot Mayor Shaun Sipma will be selecting the Mayor’s Choice. Numerous trophies will be awarded.

Submitted Photo A 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air convertible is among the classic car styles visitors will see at the Dakota Cruisers’ 25th anniversary show this Saturday.

At the close of the show, there will be garage tours until 5 p.m., at which people can visit with the car owners.

Friday’s rodeo and Saturday’s show are free to the public.

A banquet at 6 p.m. Saturday and pancake breakfast Sunday from 9 a.m. to noon at the Dakota Cruisers Clubhouse close out the event.

Dakota Cruisers formed in 1994 when a group of car enthusiasts who were meeting informally decided to form a club. Since the club’s inception, George Masters of Minot has served as president.

“I just really love it so I devote my volunteer time to this club,” he said. “We do something every Wednesday night in the summer.”

Wednesday activities might include a visit to an assisted living center or nursing home so residents can reminisce. Members might cruise to a neighboring town to show off their automobiles. Hardees on South Broadway has been the club’s launching point so the public might see a number of classic cars there Wednesday nights. The first Wednesday of each month is the club meeting, held at the Moose Lodge in the winter and clubhouse in the summer.

Members also have participated in the State Parade and Minot State University Homecoming parade and have provided classic cars to carry parade dignitaries.

Shows have been held over the years in Oak Park, on the state fairgrounds and at The Vegas.

Dakota Cruisers provides five $500 scholarships each year to students furthering their educations in the automotive field.

“We try to be as community oriented as we can be and just have fun with the cars. It seems like people can always relate to a classic car,” Masters said.

Dakota Cruisers has more than 700 individuals who belong to the club, including 240 lifetime members, which reflect individual and couples memberships. Masters said the club has sought to recruit the next generation with some success, and members bring their children and grandchildren to events to encourage an interest in classic cars.

Masters said a classic car typically is one 40 years or older. However, Dakota Cruisers welcomes models of any year. It is not necessary to own a classic car to become a member of Dakota Cruisers, but joining the club can be a useful step toward buying one or to simply connect with others who love the cars.

Information about the club and its activities can be found online at dakotacruiser.com. The website includes the monthly newsletter, calendar, scholarship application, membership form and specialty clothing that can be purchased. The clothing logo is updated each year to feature the latest Car of the Year, selected by and from within the membership.

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