Langley Cruise-In says no to donation

An anonymous donor wants to give the car show $20,000 for policing costs.

Langley Good Times Cruise-In organizers are turning down a $20,000 donation to keep the annual car show in Langley City.

The anonymous donation was announced this week, but Cruise-In president Wayne Patterson said the group doesn’t want to have to relay on donors or sponsors.

“We don’t think that anyne from the community should have to support policing costs,” said Patterson.

The Cruise-In is seriously considering moving from Langley City to Aldergrove in the Township. This comes after several years of disputes between Cruise-In organizers and City officials about the car show paying for policing costs.

“We don’t want to take money from an outside source, and we don’t want to take sponsorships,” said Patterson.

He suggested that the anonymous would-be donor could send the money directly to local charities. Money raised by the volunteer-run Cruise-In is donated to several local charities each year.

This year, the City asked the car show to pay for 25 per cent of policing costs for both the day of the event, and the Friday night before.

Cruise-In organizers have balked at paying, noting that other major downtown events which close streets, including Arts Alive, don’t have to pay similar costs.

Patterson said there is a meeting scheduled with Langley Township officials on April 18 about details of moving the event to Aldergrove.

“It could be finalized by next week,” he said.

Following the announcement of the donation issue, former Cruise-In president Eric Taylor suggested that the organization needs to do more fundraising to cover some of its costs.

“I understand that the Cruise-In does not want to pay for policing on a day when they do not even have an event, but I also understand that the city does not want to host an even that saddles them with a huge policing bill,” Taylor wrote.

Patterson responded with an email in which he noted that over the last few months “we did not feel the City truly wanted the Cruise-In.”

Businesses in Langley have been fighting to keep the event in the City. David Stingl launched a petition online and is gathering signatures from other business owners.

“It would be very nice if the Cruise-In stayed,” said Teri James, head of the Downtown Langley Business Association.

But she said it is the Cruise-In’s business decision to make.