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Auburn Cruise Nite roars to life for 26th season

More than 300 cars expected to dot Lincoln Way in Downtown Auburn Friday night
By: Andrew DiLuccia, Journal Motoring Editor
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As blooming flowers announce the arrival of spring, the classic car season is sprouting anew as the 26th season of the Auburn Cruise Nite car show kicks off Friday night. More than 300 cars and upward of 5,000 spectators are expected to pack Lincoln Way from 5 to 9 p.m. in Downtown Auburn for the first show of the season, which runs on the second Friday of the month from May to September. Auburn Cruise Nite is coming off its 25th silver anniversary season and the Auburn Cruise Nite Committee is looking forward to a successful 26th year. “It was a great 25 years, we had a good year and now we’re ready for 26,” said Dick Kiger, who decided not to retire from his co-chairman role on the Auburn Cruise Nite Committee. “It’s just going to keep going.” Kiger and co-chairman Jack Kenny believe Friday’s show will be a huge draw, much like last season’s first show, which drew nearly 500 classic cars and trucks and close to 5,000 spectators. “Starting Thursday, Friday and Saturday, it’ll be in the 80s (temperature wise), and that’s a big thing,” Kenny said. “I just expect a big turnout like last year.” As usual the show is free to classic car owners and the general public, thanks in large part to the show’s sponsors. Auburn Cruise Nite Committee members say keeping the event free is a tradition, and one they plan to keep, despite some tougher times getting sponsorships due to the economy. “Last year we thought it was going to be tough (getting sponsorships). But it wasn’t,” Kenny said. “But this year we had to work a little harder.” Kiger said the committee has raised enough funds to break even on the season and keep the show going. “We’ll be there,” he said. Vendors will be on Lincoln Way offering food and drink and KAHI 950 AM will be broadcasting classic rock ‘n’ roll music. The show is open to vehicles from 1972 and older. Cruise Nite will also pay tribute to the victims of 9/11 again this year during the final show of the season on Sept. 10. “I think it’s going to be another big year,” Kiger said. Andrew DiLuccia can be reached at andrewd@goldcountrymedia.com. __________ 26th season of Auburn Cruise Nite When: 5 to 9 p.m., Friday Where: Lincoln Way, Downtown Auburn Cost: Free Show open to: Pre-1972 vehicles. Future dates: June 11, July 9, Aug. 13, Sept. 10 For more information: Dick Kiger (530) 885-4364