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Cruise Closes In
Only one more Friday night 'pre-cruise' event remains before the Escalon Lions Club hosts its annual Autumn Cruise in downtown Escalon.

Staged all summer long, the Friday night gatherings in the parking lot adjacent to Hula's will wrap up with one final show on Aug. 31. Then, the Lions Club will take a one week break before hosting the cruise on Saturday, Sept. 8.

Cruise chairman John Salvin said the Friday night events have been well-attended and organizers have more than 175 vehicles pre-registered for the annual cruise. A plethora of activities will be offered on Sept. 8, starting with a pancake breakfast hosted by the Lions Club at the Grange Hall on Main Street from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m., to the 'show and shine' for the cars, a fashion show by the local Bedazzled boutique, music, lunch, vendor booths, and more. A total of 14 Friday night events were offered and got the auto enthusiasts even more pumped up to join the car show on Sept. 8.

"We keep seeing new ones coming," said Lions Club member Bud Andrew of cars arriving for the Aug. 24 pre-cruise.

The target for the Sept. 8 Autumn Cruise is 275 cars. Proceeds from the event go toward scholarships for Escalon High School seniors, with thousands of dollars donated over the years.

Oakdale resident Bob Ramos had his 1930 Model A coupe on display Friday night.

"I come to this one all the time," he said of the pre-cruise gathering. "You can visit here, have fun."

He also plans to attend the Sept. 8. cruise and said one year he was the winner of the grand prize travel voucher that was presented. This year, a $500 cash prize is offered, with the winner drawn from among those that participated in the Friday night events and are also at the main show.

Gene Poulson of Modesto had a custom Volkswagen getting a lot of looks on Friday night.

"The body is a 1962 but DMV-wise, it's a 1970," he said of having some parts from different years in the car. "It's still being put together."

Escalon resident Lee Keller had three vehicles and some grandchildren in tow on Friday. Grandson Nick Payan said he likes the challenge of working on the older vehicles.

"And they're fun to drive when they drive right," he said.

Salvin said the goal is to get all those from the Friday night gatherings - and more - to come for the Sept. 8 show.

"We'll have lunch that we serve up in the parking lot at the Green Pea (across from the Main Street Park where the cars are staged) and we are also doing a treasure chest, lots of good stuff."

Primary sponsors for the event, in cooperation with the Lions Club, are Grower's Choice/Longstreth Farms/Grower's Preference.

"We'll have a lot of vendors this year," Salvin added. "We've got 12 confirmed already."

The show is also open to the public to come and enjoy looking at the cars and talking with the owners.