Classic cars will drive expanded Garfield Ridge showcase
Classic cars and other vehicles will once again be used to
showcase the west end of Garfield RidgeÑArcher Avenue, specificallyÑas a
commercial strip ripe for business development.
In an announcement made Monday night at the Garfield Ridge
Neighborhood Watch meeting, Elisa Mondia, a leader of GRREAT (Garfield Ridge
Retail, Entertainment, Amusement Team), revealed that her group is sponsoring
an expanded Archer Cruise Night on Friday, June 16.
In its fourth year, the car show will expand from three
hours to fourÑ6 to 10 p.m.Ñreflecting popular demand, Mondia said.
Last year, about 150 classic carsÑas well as trucks, vans,
Jeeps and even a motorcycleÑfilled parking lots from Nashville on the east to
about Normandy on the west.
Several thousand men, women and children came from near and
far to ooh and aah at the vehicles, which included everything from early-model
Fords to 1957 Chevys to 1960s muscle cars and much more.
Once again this year, food trucks will be a part of the mix,
selling everything from dinners to frozen desserts and other treats.
In addition to expanded hours, the 2017 show will expand to
the east and west on Archer, from Nagle to Oak Park.
Owners of classic vehicles interested in putting their best
wheels forward need only show up before the Cruise Night starts and find a good
spot in a designated parking lot or along the curb on Archer.
“This is not a competition,” Mondia said. “There is no preregistration,
no entry fee, no judging. This is just about enjoying classic cars right here
in the neighborhood. It’s also about families and neighbors meeting neighbors.”
It is also an opportunity for local businesses to snag new
customers they otherwise might not have seen.
The classic car showcase, like other GRREAT events and the
non-profit GRREAT itself, was designed at least in part as a response to those
in communityÑsome elected officials includedÑwho in years past made public
statements about how Archer Avenue’s best years were behind it.
“This event has been a success, and it’s growing,” Mondia
told the Southwest News-Herald. “We set out to make a point about how Archer
Avenue can be marketed successfully as a destination for entertainment,
shopping and more. I think we’ve proven it repeatedly.”
Members of the Garfield Ridge Neighborhood Watch are
expected to once again provide a civilian-led security presence at the Cruise
Night, supplementing Chicago Lawn (8th) District police officers,
who in years past have been out in force to assure a smooth event.
(Editor’s Note: More news coverage and photos in the
print edition of the Southwest News-Herald, available on local newsstands. Or
better yet, call 708-496-0265 during weekday business hours and order
convenient home delivery for about 50 cents a week.)
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