CROWN POINT | A popular century-old local tradition may be coming to an end.
Crossroads Regional Chamber of Commerce President Sue Reed announced Thursday that this year’s Cobe Cup antique car parade has been cancelled because of a lack of volunteers.
The Cobe Cup parade traditionally started in Crown Point and passed through Lowell and Cedar Lake. All three chambers of commerce have been unable to find volunteers for the event, previously held during Memorial Day weekend.
“As nonprofits, we count on our members to assist with large events,” Reed said. “Crossroads Chamber has a growing list of events and programs that continue to pull us in a number of directions. ... With less than six weeks until the date of the event, we regret that we’re forced to cancel it.”
Sandy Basala, superintendent of visitor services for the Lake County Parks Department, said about 10 years ago the Cobe Cup route took a turn off Ind. 2 to go past historic Buckley Homestead.
“We were happy to be a location where people could line the street and cheer on the drivers,” Basala said. “I think Buckley added to the atmosphere of the event, and it was a nice place for folks to gather and see the farm while they waited.”
Basala said Woodland Indian Camp will be open May 25 and 26, so park activities will continue that weekend even without the cup events.
“We are disappointed that the Cobe Cup is cancelled, but certainly understand and appreciate the amount of time and effort that volunteers took to conduct the event each year,” Basala said.
Cedar Lake Chamber of Commerce Director Diane Jostes said the chamber considered taking it over.
“We just didn’t have the manpower to do it,” Jostes said. “The public enjoys the cars coming through the community because it brings back memories for the older people and, in addition, just a little bit of history for the young."
According to "The Louis Chevrolet Memorial," published by the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the first Cobe Cup race, staged by the Chicago Automobile Club, was July 19, 1909.
The race course was 23.27 miles per lap and wound through Crown Point, Lowell and Cedar Lake. Louis Chevrolet won the first race, which was a precursor to the Indianapolis 500.
The event later became more of a ceremonial procession.