MORRIS – Cruise Night founder Herb Wyeth said they are ready to roll out 13th season in downtown Morris on Saturday as the season opener kicks off.
“The weather is going to be great,” Wyeth said. “We look forward to using our expanded area this year.”
The event, which takes place on the second Saturday of each month, happens to fall on Father’s Day weekend this year, and Wyeth is hoping that will draw even more people to the typically busy Cruise Night.
This weekend’s Cruise Night will raise money for Grundy Community Volunteer Hospice.
“We’re happy to continue to be the first Cruise Night sponsor agency,” Grundy Hospice Board President John Callahan said. “Cruise Night really helps supplement our budget.”
Hospice, a United Way of Grundy County partner, will have a food stand at the intersection of North and Liberty streets. It will also benefit from the sale of 50/50 raffle tickets, which will be sold during the event, but are already available from board members and at the hospice office, 518 W. Illinois Ave.
Callahan said he hopes with the combination of Father’s Day weekend and the forecasted good weather that people will come out for a good time Saturday night.
“It’s a great way to see people, and with the long cold winter we had we hope people will be ready to come outside,” he said.
With the number of cars often reaching over 700 and hitting a record number of 886 in August last year, Wyeth is optimistic they will need all the space allotted to them along Liberty Street.
Last year, the Morris City Council granted Morris Cruise Night more space, because they were running out of room for all the vehicles in the space they were allowed to use downtown. He then proposed a plan for additional parking, which was implemented in September 2013.
This plan included barricading Franklin Street at Washington Street, so only show vehicles can use the street. The vehicles come through to be lined up for assigned parking, and parking spots on Washington are used for additional parking.
They also barricade where Liberty hits Illinois so the spaces on Liberty can be used for show cars.
“Instead of sending cars down Liberty Street when it’s backed up, we can send them the other way,” Wyeth said. “This will help when things get backed up.”
Last September’s Cruise Night was the first to utilize the additional parking, but October’s event didn’t warrant it due to the weather keeping people home. The last Cruise Night last year only brought in 274 vehicles compared to 877 in September.
Morris Cruise Nights 2014
All events are from 6 to 9 p.m. the second Saturday of the month.
June 14: Grundy Community Volunteer Hospice
July 12: Morris Rotary Club
Aug. 9: Community Nutrition Network
Sept. 13: We Care of Grundy County
Oct. 11: REACH Program – Grundy County Special Education Cooperative