Chesterton Tribune



Valpo car buffs interested in Chesterton Cruise Night

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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.

Attendance has 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 wheels.

But Chesterton 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.”

Space, however, 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 Downtown.

DeLaney accordingly 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. Calumet Road.

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.


Posted 6/6/2018




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