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Final Friday Night Pre-Cruise Event Set
Cars PIX
Its almost time for the annual downtown Autumn Cruise, hosted by the Escalon Lions Club. The final Friday night gathering of classics will be Sept. 1; the downtown show is set for the citys Main Street Park on Sept. 9. Marg Jackson/The Times

This coming Friday night, Sept. 1, will be the final one in the summer-long ‘pre-cruise’ series of car shows, hosted in the parking lot adjacent to Hula’s on Jackson Avenue in Escalon.

The Friday night shows are a precursor to the Annual Autumn Cruise put on by the Escalon Lions Club, which is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 9 in the city’s Main Street Park.

Proceeds of the car show benefit Escalon High School scholarships.

Co-organizer John Salvin said there have been some good Friday night shows, and some slower than usual.

“It has been fair, but we have had a lot of hot nights,” he said of the summer’s frequent triple digit heat. “We’ve been averaging around 25 cars but we have had as many as 60-plus.”

Sign-ups for the Sept. 9 show can be done at the Friday night pre-cruises and Salvin said they are on track once again for having an estimated 300 cars on display for the downtown cruise.

“This will be the 24th annual show,” Salvin added. “We’ve given out over a quarter-million dollars in scholarships over that time.”

Cars, trucks, motorcycles, boats, all have been entered into the show, some fully restored, some in the restoration process and some looking as they did when they rolled off the assembly line.

Salvin said there are many reasons people enjoy coming to the Escalon Lions Club show, from the camaraderie, to the chance to see some great vehicles, to food and great raffle prizes. There are also dozens of trophies to be awarded.

“We have a very nice venue, most of the cars are parked on grass and we have trees for shade,” Salvin added of the park setting.

A breakfast is available for purchase from the local American Legion Post 263 and Legion Riders at the Grange Hall the morning of the downtown cruise, while the Lions Club serves up a lunch. DJ Gene Adams, who has been providing tunes throughout the summer Friday night events, is on hand as well with music and keeping the crowd informed of the activities.

“They come from all over,” Salvin said of auto enthusiasts, either to enter the show or just to view the hundreds of classics on display. “We also have one of the biggest raffles around and the ladies really like that.”

From Oakdale to Escalon, Walnut Creek to Danville, the cars come in and owners enjoy talking shop for the day.

“It’s just fun,” agreed Joe Mecleary of Escalon, who had his 1949 Ford on display at a recent Friday night event. “I’m retired, so it keeps me out of trouble.”

Last year, the proceeds from the cruise allowed the Lions Club to present 18 scholarships, at $1,500 each, to graduating Escalon High School seniors. Salvin said they want to make sure this year’s show is just as successful, as the Lions Club looks to keep the spirit of giving alive and well.

“Everything we make goes back to the community in some way,” he said of the service club.

Those interested in registering for the downtown cruise can do so by contacting Salvin at 209-838-7077. Registration fee includes a commemorative T-shirt, along with either a hat or a lunch ticket.

The Friday night pre-cruise finale will run from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.; the downtown cruise on Sept. 9 begins at 8 a.m.