Aldergrove appears ‘viable’ option for Langley’s charity car show

With a few more details to be worked out, Cruise-In organizers are optimistic they have a new home.

A few more details still have to be ironed out, but Aldergrove appears to be the future home for the Langley Good Times Cruise-In.

Following another meeting with the Township of Langley on Tuesday, Cruise-In president Wayne Patterson said 99 per cent of the issues have been worked out.

Following several meetings, planning sessions, and discussions, Patterson said he “very optimistic,” about the future of the show and about the partnerships emerging with the community of Aldergrove.

All that remains is to get permission from the highways ministry to shut down a section of Fraser Highway through downtown Aldergrove during the one-day event, Patterson told the Langley Advance.

“It doesn’t look like there’s any big hurdles,” he said. “I’m happy.”

Last year, the Cruise-In was almost called off because Langley City asked the Cruise-In committee to cover policing costs both for the Saturday of the event, as well as the Friday night before.

At the eleventh hour, the City agreed to cover costs for one more year, and the event went on as scheduled.

Cruise-In is 20 years old this year, and has been held all but one year on the Saturday following Labour Day. It has become on of North Americas largest charity car shows, and attracts people from around the world.

Patterson hoped things could be worked out with the City, but after being presented with a series of what he described and “unacceptable” conditions from the City in late November, the Cruise-In committee decided to start hunt around for a new location for the 2017 show, or alternatively considered shutting down the event for good.

Patterson described the City’s “demands” to pay for policing costs as a deal breaker for a charity event that has raised more than $2.5 million for local non-profit groups through the years.

Patterson objecting to the idea that the Cruise-In pay for policing at all, noting that other events such as Arts Alive – which also shuts down Fraser Highway – don’t have to pick up extra policing costs.

City Mayor Ted Schaffer was surprised by the Cruise-In’s decision to move in the midst of what he saw as negotiations. But, he wished the show organizers well moving forward.

When Aldergrove was floated as a potential new site, Township Mayor Jack Froese said they would cover more of the policing costs than the City, and was confident all the details could be worked out to ensure the show’s transition to the easterly border of Langley would go smoothly.

Maybe, after 20 years, it’s time for a change, Patterson said, describing change as a good thing.

“Change brings new ideas… it’s a lot of work, but we’re receiving great support. It think this is a real good move.”

He was hoping to meet with Valley Traffic late this week to review material they traditionally provide to highways when shutting down the road for parades. Then, Patterson hopes to submit the Cruise-In’s application to the province next week.

Moving the car show to Aldergrove will mean shutting down Fraser Highway from 264th Street east to 273rd Street (in front of the Dollarama), as well as some of the side streets leading off the highway, including 272nd Street, from 29th to 32nd Avenue.

The committee is also in negotiations to use the old mall parking lot for some of the car show, with the main stage, ultimate garage, some concessions, and the souvenir booths all centred around the intersection of Fraser and 272nd Street.

Once the plans are approved and all the details are worked out, Patterson is hoping to host a public meeting to answer questions and hear feedback from area residents and businesses.

They also met with Aldergrove Business Association last week.

“They were very positive and very happy we were going to bring it to Aldergrove,” Patterson said.

“Everyone seems to be on board with the idea,” he added, speaking to participants, sponsors, and vendors alike.