500 cars cruised El Camino Real at the 29th Annual Hot El Camino Cruise Nite

ATASCADERO — Fans of cars and classic fun headed to Atascadero last weekend for Atascadero’s Cruisin’ Weekend. The festivities kicked off with the 29th Annual Hot El Camino Cruise Nite on Friday, Aug. 19, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. The cruise route went from Curbaril Avenue to Traffic Way, and the 500 cars participating drove in a loop for the whole two hours, allowing spectators to see the vehicles more than once.

“The cruise night was amazing,” stated Deputy City Manager of Outreach, Promotions, and Events Terrie Banish. “We had about 500 cruisers exactly. We hit the 500 number, with our next ticket being 501 that we didn’t sell, so we came in right at the 500. That’s the highest we’ve ever had in participation on cruise night. So we were pretty thrilled about that.” 

While most of the cars and their drivers came from Atascadero, there were cruisers from Templeton, Paso Robles, and even a small selection of vehicles from further away.


“It’s a local vibe, local feel, and all of the restaurants and everybody, they’re open,” Banish said. “Different places are having different parties up and down El Camino Real.”

Cruise Nite requires the use of local California Highway Patrol personnel from all over the county, as well as road closures performed by Caltrans, so all money made from registration fees goes directly to offset the costs to put on the weekend’s festivities.

“It’s just a ton of fun to see everyone being out and cheering each other on and saying hi to their neighbor,” Banish said. “It’s just something that you just don’t find out there.”

The gasoline-fueled weekend continued with the 31st Annual Mid-State Cruizers Car Show on Saturday, Aug. 20, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Two hundred and fourteen classic cars were on display at the Atascadero Lake Park, and attendees enjoyed 20 merchandise, food, and drink vendors while there.

The vintage cars drove from Atascadero Lake Park to a VIP parking area right by City Hall, kicking off the 6th Annual Dancing in the Streets, which took place from 5 to 9 p.m. 

Six years ago, Atascadero added Dancing in the Streets to make sure that the party continued through the weekend. Not only were there local bands playing on three stages, but community entertainment was a part of the evening as well. A member from AHS’s Advanced Choir sang the national anthem, the cheer team from AHS also performed, and there was a performance by Motions Academy of Dance. Dancing with Our Stars also had a foot in the festivities.

This year, the California Mid-State Fair Court and its Queen had a hand in launching each of the three stages alongside Mayor Heather Moreno.

Music was provided by Burning James & the All-Stars, Dante Marsh and the Vibesetters, The Counterfeit Kings, and Steppin’ Out. And there were 20 food and adult beverage vendors to choose from while the community danced the night away.

“It [Dancing in the Streets] is super successful; people come from around the county, plus our residents here,” Banish said. “It gets them out of their house again. Those that didn’t want to do the cruise or really couldn’t, or whatever, they have another opportunity to come out and enjoy, because they [the events] are all free, including the car show.”