Forecasters are calling for temperatures to hit triple digits on Saturday – continuing a string of hotter than normal weather for September – but organizers of the annual Escalon Lions Club Autumn Cruise don’t expect that to keep auto enthusiasts away.
The 22nd annual downtown cruise will go off on Saturday, Sept. 12 regardless of the heat, said this year’s co-organizer John Salvin.
“When the guys look out the window and see drizzle they don’t go out,” Salvin said of car buffs protecting their rides. “But when it is hot, people still come out, they may leave a little earlier but they will still come.”
Salvin and show organizer Doug George are both looking forward to a good year for the show, with just under 250 cars pre-registered as of Tuesday morning.
“We have 244 signed up right now and we are expecting between 80 and 90 the day of the show,” Salvin said, estimating they will end up with well over 300 vehicles in the popular show.
“Everything is on track, everything is good,” Salvin added. “We will have lots of raffle prizes again and a live auction.”
Proceeds of the Autumn Cruise benefit high school seniors at Escalon and the 2014 show allowed the club to provide a total of 14 scholarships to the Class of 2015, each one for $1,750.
Lions Club members work on the show for months, including hosting the Friday night pre-cruise gatherings at Hula’s from May through early September, then put on the downtown show in the city’s Main Street Park in mid-September. Over 80 trophies are being offered this year in a variety of categories.
The day starts out with a breakfast at the Grange Hall, this year with several types of breakfast burritos being offered, along with coffee, juice and donuts. Breakfast will be available from 7 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
Hours for the show itself are 8 a.m. to about 4 p.m., organizers said, with car judging from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and then a ‘cruise’ of trophy winners along Main Street roughly between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. Saturday.
Cars and their owners typically start arriving a little after 6 a.m., Salvin said, in hopes of getting just the right spot to display their ride. The first 150 participants to arrive also receive a ‘goodie bucket’ of items as a thank you gift.
The Escalon American Legion Colorguard will present the colors at 9 a.m. for the official start to the day and the Lions Club will also have lunch for sale from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Also planned are a fashion show, Denise Corbett with her pinstriping, plenty of time to visit with auto enthusiasts and admire the classic cars and trucks, music and more.
George and Salvin are happy about 244 pre-registered vehicles, but are also looking for more.
“A lot of people sign up last minute, pay the extra $5,” Salvin said. “We expect we’ll have about the same number as last year.”
Noting that he has been involved for about 10 years, Salvin said the Lions Club is thankful for the support the show has received for more than two decades.
“It has grown to the point where it will sustain itself,” he explained. “We have a pretty nice show, a lot of people attend. We’ve been very lucky.”