9th Annual Cruise Night in LaPorte is Saturday

2013-06-06T00:00:00Z 9th Annual Cruise Night in LaPorte is SaturdayStan Maddux Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
June 06, 2013 12:00 am  • 

LAPORTE | About 400 antique vehicles will rumble through the heart of LaPorte's business district, attracting thousands of people from a wide area.

The 9th annual Cruise Night on Saturday also means dollars for LaPorte businesses.

At Western Inn, for example, owner Larry Rose said the event has become the busiest day of the year with upwards of 250 people seated or standing outside his restaurant beside J Street eating and drinking with antique and classic vehicles rumbling by.

"It's a great event," said Rose.

Cruise Night sponsored by the Michiana Antique Auto Club is scheduled to run from 6 to 8 p.m.

A wide variety of antique vehicles will register at the LaPorte County fairgrounds and cruise back and forth primarily on J Street and Lincolnway through the downtown the entire time.

Thousands of spectators always line the entire cruise route.

"The people absolutely enjoy seeing the old cars," said Rose, who added Cruise Night now exceeds the popular Fourth of July parade in terms of the extra business generated at his establishment.

Other businesses will try and capitalize on the large influx of visitors with the monthly 2nd Saturdays to be held during the cruise.

Participating merchants remain open past regular store hours offering discounts and other things like food and wine samples.

"It helps keep downtown busy," said Tiffany Bley, the city's downtown director.

Edgerton's Travel Service Inc., for example, will be offering discounts for trips on cruise ships.

Rose said patrons flocking to his establishment come from as far as Chicago and Fort Wayne and places in between like Valparaiso.

LaPorte Mayor Blair Milo also plans to get into the spirit in a 1968 red Pontiac Firebird owned by her parents, Fran and Tom Milo.

"Lots of people come and line the streets. It's just a lot of fun," said Milo.

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