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New Cruise-In - a chance to grab a bite and talk shop. File art

Cruisin’ and schmoozin’

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“There’s no such thing as too much fun.”

That’s the thought behind Perham’s newest summer event, the Perham Classic Cruise-In.

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Every third Friday of the month, all summer long, classic cars and motorcycles of all colors, makes and models will line the streets of downtown Perham. Meanwhile, their drivers and riders will be gathered at local restaurants and stores, grabbing a bite and talking shop.

The Cruise-Ins will start this Friday, May 16, with car owners coming and going at their leisure between 5 and 9 p.m.

Frank Vorderbruggen, the leading organizer of the Cruise-Ins, said he’s hoping for good weather and a strong turnout. He hopes as many as 100 cars will show up.

“I want to fill the streets,” he said. “There are a ton of collector cars in the area, and a ton of bikes, and people are just frothing at the mouth to get them out and show them off.”

Open to all classic car and bike owners, the Cruise-Ins have no formalities, no judges, and no prizes. They simply offer a casual opportunity for classic auto owners to meet up and brush the dust off their ‘pride and joy.’

“You just show up, have a burger, and talk with other car and bike people,” said Vorderbruggen. “It’s just a fun atmosphere. There’s no such thing as too much fun.”

Vorderbruggen and his friend, Mike Yokum of Perham Auto Repair, organized the Cruise-Ins after hearing that the local car club would not be hosting a car show this summer. Wanting to come up with an alternative event for classic car owners, they devised the Cruise-In, modeling it after a similar event held in Detroit Lakes every summer.

They talked to the owners of The Brew and The Station House to get them on board, and then approached the Perham Chamber and city officials, all of whom “were all for it,” according to Vorderbruggen.

The Cruise-Ins are intended to bring attention to Perham’s Main Street area restaurants and shops, some of which will offer special deals and extended evening hours in return.

“We thought it would be a nice way to promote Perham’s downtown district,” said Vorderbruggen. “Anything I can do to give back to the community.”

Cars may park up and down Main Street and its side streets, with reserved parking offered on the north side of Main Street and in the parking lot behind City Hall.

Flyers have gone around about the Cruise-Ins, and car clubs from Perham, Detroit Lakes, Park Rapids and other area communities are aware of the events, Vorderbruggen said. Many of their members are likely to participate.

No special criteria needs to be met to take part in the Cruise-Ins. Vorderbruggen suggests that classic car and bike owners simply “let your pride be your guide.”

For more information about the Cruise-Ins, call Frank Vorderbruggen at 218-849-2701.

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Marie Johnson
Marie Johnson (formerly Nitke) came to the Perham Focus after several years as the Education and Arts & Entertainment Editor at the Herald-Review of Grand Rapids, Minn. She lives in rural Ottertail with her husband, Dan, and their spunky yellow lab, Louisa.
(218) 346-5900 x228
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