Kearney, NE -
While there are events for several days prior, Saturday is arguably Cruise Nite’s biggest day with vehicles, visitors, and vendors congregating on the Bricks area of downtown Kearney. Tom McCann’s ‘56 Nomad is a labor of love, a replica of his college car.
“I don’t think you’re ever finished with [restoring] them, but I like it, and people seem to like it and I like bringing it to shows,” says the Kearney resident. McCann and the “Surf Wagon” join hundreds of cars, trucks, and motorcycles at Kearney’s annual Cruise Nite show and shines. “It’s grown and the guys in the car club and the town, they embrace it, and it’s just fun, it’s local, I don’t have to travel a great distance,” says McCann. Vendors like Premiere Old Time Soda set up temporary shop among the classic and souped-up vehicles. “The organizers are probably the best of any event we ever do, very easy to get along with,” says Premiere owner Jerry Coleman of Maxwell. “I’m an old car guy so we kind of like to get down here and sell some soda and floats and enjoy the cars.” Downtown eateries say they see more foot traffic in their doors during Saturday’s activities, but Kearney leaders say it’s hard to pin down exactly how many visitors there are. “Because there’s not admission, people kind of come and go, but obviously several thousand people make Kearney home Cruise Nite weekend and Cruise Nite week,” says Kearney Visitors Bureau Director Roger Jasnoch. Jasnoch says it’s a local economy boost when Cruise Nite-goers buy gas, stay in hotels, and of course eat and drink. “Car people are kind of a breed of their own, and they come to these shows to have a good time, to show off their cars and enjoy the food and such and so it’s just a very pleasant place to be,” says Coleman.