Cruise Nite, Car Show, Dancin’ in the Streets return Aug. 16-17

Cruisin’ Weekend — a signature Atascadero event — will be back this year Friday, August 16 through Saturday, August 17. The three-part event will feature a classic car cruise through town, a car show at Atascadero Lake Park and Dancing In The Streets where attendees can dance, eat, drink and get a closer look at the time-honored and unique cars. All three parts of the event are for all ages and completely free aside from purchasing food and beverages.

“These types of events have continued to be very popular and continue to grow on the Central Coast and the cruise itself has really grown through the years —  a little over 400 cars have registered for the cruise,” said Terrie Banish, Deputy City Manager of Outreach, Promotions and Events. “The whole city comes to life that night.”

Cruisin’ Weekend is a lot of fun for the community and, as it has grown, tourists are flocking in for the event too. According to Banish, around ten to 20 percent of attendees come from out of the area and stay in Atascadero for the weekend.

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Hot El Camino Cruise Nite

Crusin’ Weekend will open with the annual Hot El Camino Cruise Nite on Friday August 16 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. The cruise will take place up and down a seven-and-a-half mile stretch of El Camino Real from Traffic Way to Curbaril. This cruise is one of the largest annual events in San Luis Obispo County with more than 400 classic vehicles showing up from all over the state.

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Mid State Cruizers Car Show

Mid State Cruizers Car Show

Cruisin’ Weekend will continue Saturday, August 17 with the 30th Annual Mid State Cruizers Car Show from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Atascadero Lake Park.

The Mid State Cruizers, a club formed in 1989 when a group of car enthusiasts came together and wanted to give back to the community, hosts the annual car show. Flash forward 30 years and the Mid State Cruizers club is still going strong, hosting the car show every year. With 175 cars entered into the show from all over California last year, they are on track to reach at least that amount again this year. 

“We had vehicles from 32 cities at our 2018 Car Show,” said Roy Barba, President of Mid State Cruizers. “There is an award given to the person traveling the farthest and even an award given to the Hard Luck case of the day. Sometimes these magnificent cars do break down.”

In addition to all the vehicles, the car show will also include food, clothing, auto-related and veteran-affiliated vendors.

A total of 45 awards will be given for Best in Class and Runner Up for 22 classes of cars as well as Best in Show and club officer’s picks.

“A nice feature of our show is that except for the officer’s picks, the participants vote and choose the winners,” Barba said.

There will be raffle drawings every half hour as well as a cash drawing at the end of the day. The raffle prizes are donated by local merchants and community members. 

All profits from the car show will go to ten local charities. Last year, the car show was able to give $6,000 back to the community. 

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Dancing in the Streets

Dancing in the Streets

Crusin’ Weekend will conclude with Dancing In The Streets which will be back on Saturday, August 17 from 5 to 10 p.m. for its fourth year.

“Four years ago, we really gained momentum for Atascadero by taking a signature event and expanding that,” Banish said. “Dancing In The Streets really kind of locks in the whole weekend.”

Dancing in the Streets will have live performances scattered throughout downtown, plenty of different kinds of vendors and lots of cars on display so spectators can get a closer look. 

Four bands, featuring a wide variety of music genres, have been booked for this part of the event. Times will be staggered as follows:

  • Bear Market Riot – 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
  • Martin Paris – 6 to 9 p.m.
  • Burning James and the Funky Flames – 7 to 10 p.m.
  • Santa Maria’s Steppin’ Out – 8:30 to 10:30 p.m.

“If you don’t want to dance, it’s fun for people watching,” Banish said. “It’s about enjoying the downtown. People bring their chairs — it’s like a mini concert in the park. If they plan it correctly they can see each one of these bands.”

Along with the four bands, there will be a multitude of community performers including Motions Academy of Dance, Atascadero High School cheerleaders and Atascadero’s Dancing With Our Stars participants who will be announcing their selected dancers for next year.

About 15 different food trucks will be parked at the event with a variety of food as well as beer, wine and cider from different distilleries and breweries in the area.

“There’s something for everybody there,” Banish said. “Get down here early, get your chairs planted along the cruise because it does fill up and be out there and listen to lots of great music.”

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