For some years now
the Park Department has been hosting the monthly Chesterton Cruise Night for
classic car buffs in the Downtown on the last Saturday night of the month,
from May through September.
always been good, with Broadway typically closed between South Calumet Road
and Third Street, to give the collectors plenty of room to show off their
Cruise Night is suddenly looking to get a whole lot more popular. At
Tuesday’s meeting of the Park Board, car buffs Brad Anderson and Rick Yukon
said that the 300 to 400 collectors who formally held their own cruise night
on Fridays at Harley-Davidson of Valparaiso on U.S. Highway 30 are seeking a
new venue for their event.
Anderson and Yukon
aren’t affiliated with any club but were interested in knowing whether there
might be space for the Valparaiso-based buffs at Chesterton Cruise Night.
Town Council Member
Emerson DeLaney, speaking from the floor, likes the idea. Cruise Night used
to be a bigger event than it is now, he said, with Broadway closed all the
way to Fourth Street and portions of Second and Third streets closed as
well. “Then we walked it down to where it is now. But we could bring it back
up to what it was. It used to be really big. It can be big again. I think it
would be a good thing. It would bring a lot of people to the Downtown.”
could be a limiting factor, Superintendent Bruce Mathias noted. Closing
Broadway to Fourth Street would allow a maximum of around 108 cars, and
adding food vendors would cut that number. If only half of the Valparaiso
car buffs were to show up, there could be some serious congestion in the
suggested the following, and the board concurred: for the next Cruise Night,
Saturday, June 30, close Broadway to Fourth Street and partially close
Second and Third streets. Then see what happens. “If it gets full, it gets
full,” he said. “They can always park down the center of the street.”
Member Paul Shinn,
for his part, expressed enthusiasm for the idea but also some concern. “We
don’t want for it to get too big, too fast,” he said.
Shinn also wants
business owners in the Downtown apprised of the possibility of a larger than
usual influx of car buffs on June 30.
Taste of Duneland
In other business,
members voted unanimously to grant the Duneland Chamber of Commerce full use
of Thomas Centennial Park from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 1, for the
Taste of Duneland.
The Taste was
formally sponsored and organized by the Duneland Business Initiative Group (DBIG),
Chamber President Maura Durham told the board. But this year the Chamber has
agreed to assume responsibility for the event from DBIG, and to combine
Taste with the Chamber’s own event, Party in the Park.
The Party had
originally been scheduled this year for Aug. 6, Durham said. Instead, it
will be merged with Taste on Sept. 1.
Festival of Magic
Members also voted
unanimously, again at Durham’s request, to grant the Chamber full use of
Thomas Park on Saturday, July 28, for the Festival of Magic event being
organized by Nicki Taylor, operator of the Running Vines Winery at 119 S.
The festival will
be a “Harry Potter-type” event, Durham noted--but not an actual Harry Potter
event, because Running Vines “can’t use the copyrighted name”--and European
Market vendors will be invited to theme their booths accordingly.
“There’ll be no
alcohol in the park but we’d like the use of the whole park as an extension
of the European Market to abut up to Running Vines,” Durham said.