Langley Good Times Cruise-In revving its engines

For the second year running, Eric Taylor is at the wheel of the Langley Good Times Cruise-In.

And the president of what’s billed as Western Canada’s best-attended charity event hopes the 2014 show and shine on Saturday, Sept. 6 and related swap meet and car corral on Sunday, Sept. 7 will turn out to be a smooth drive.

Since its inception in 1997, with 430 registered vehicles that year, Cruise-In has grown into an event that’s nearly a year in the making, with a committee made up of nine board members, most long term, and various sub committees planning and organizing for the better part of 10 months.

Cruise-In took a hiatus in 2010 for restructuring purposes before starting its engine up again in 2011.

“I think it [the one year absence] was good for everybody, except the people who wanted to go to the car show that year,” Taylor said.

The ensuing three Cruise-Ins that followed the aforementioned 2010 pit stop picked up where the previous events left off, which was good news for the groups that benefit from the event.

The 2013 Cruise-In generated $53,524, all donated to local charities.

“Not bad for a one-day event,” Taylor said.

Funds raised from this year’s Cruise-In will go to the Langley Memorial Hospital Auxiliary, Langley community support groups, Valley Therapeutic Equestrian Association, PuCKS, the Boys & Girls Club, the Douglas Park Elementary Association, and the Legacy Water Search and Recovery Society.

Looking ahead to Sept. 6 and 7, Taylor, who took over the role of president from Riccardo Sestito last year, said, “We’re going along well. [But] our registrations are down and we’re anxious to have people sign up.”

Typically, 1,000 vehicles are registered for Cruise-In each year.

“We usually have 4-500 of them pre-register,” Taylor said.

As of earlier this week, there were fewer than 300 entrants signed up.

“This is late, very late, to have that low a number,” Taylor said. “We’re looking to do things to encourage people to pre-register because it costs us so much money to put the show on, and we’re actually putting money out up front to get the show up and operating.”

Once the classic cars, hot rods, and motorcycles on display are parked in their designated spots, and the vendors and entertainment stages are in place, Fraser Highway from 203rd Street to the end of the one-way portion, and all of its connecting streets, as well as Douglas Crescent and 56th Avenue are closed to traffic so visitors can stroll around and enjoy the day.

While Taylor enjoys the Cruise-In day itself, he most enjoyed handing out cheques to the benefiting charities later in the year.

Another bright note is the swap meet and car corral, which continues to build momentum.

The parking lot at Kwantlen Polytechnic University is dedicated to cars for sale.

“Bring your car, make a $20 donation that day, we’ll put a for sale on it, and you have crowds of people walking up and down looking at cars for sale,” Taylor said.

Last year was the most successful to date, according to Taylor.

“It was fantastic,” he said. “As far as cars being sold, I know it went well, I know that several sold. But the parking lot was absolutely jam-packed with vendors.”

The day of the swap meet, vendors start setting up as early as 4 a.m., Taylor said.

For the Saturday show and shine, the Ultimate Garage, sponsored by Lordco, returns for another year. Also back is the marketplace, with vendors showing and selling their wares, and loads of entertainment including the always-popular “Elvis Elite” Steve Elliott on the main stage as well as the Seattle Cossacks motorcycle drill team that is “spectacular to see,” Taylor said.

“I think there are nine performers and they all drive 1930, 1940 motorcycles and sometimes you’ll see nine of them on one motorcycle,” Taylor said. “That’s one worth going to watch in the parking lot in the casino.”

If you want to enter your vehicle in the Cruise-In, now’s the time.

You can download a registration form online, or find out more information, by clicking here.

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