Weekender

Historic cruise atmosphere taking over Bellefonte

The Bellefonte Cruise returns for its 28th year on Friday and Saturday in Bellefonte.
The Bellefonte Cruise returns for its 28th year on Friday and Saturday in Bellefonte. Centre Daily Times, file

Visitors to Bellefonte will get an opportunity to visit the nostalgia of days gone by with the annual Bellefonte Cruise, happening Friday and Saturday.

The cruise, organized by The Bellefonte Cruise Committee, is an annual car show, now celebrating its 28th year. The cruise features a car, truck and motorcycle show for adults, a kids’ class, musical performances, marketplace, contests and sock hop.

The main event, the cruise, will be held on Friday with registration costing $15.

The judging will be by an outside professional judging company, G.F. Grifana Carshows Inc.

“A lot of car shows end up being a popularity contest, but not this one,” said Patrick McCool, chairman for the Bellefonte Cruise, who explained that they hire an outside company so that the professionals know what to base their judging on and how to keep the contest fair.

“We try to make it family oriented so there is something for everyone,” said McCool, saying they add new things every year to get people excited about Bellefonte and interested in the historic cruising atmosphere.

McCool said that they also have a kids’ class where children are invited to bring their “ride,” pushed or ridden, to show in their own display. Each child will receive a goody bag. There is no entrance fee to participate.

The cruise has many sponsors from around the area, including Maggi Mitsubishi, Weis and Pizza Mia, to name a few.

“Many of the businesses in the community we’re already connected with. Our goal is to make sure they get some bang for their buck,” McCool said. “People come into the businesses and let them know we appreciate them being part of the cruise.”

The Bellefonte Cruise not only benefits the town by bringing visitors to local shops but also has a connection with the Make-a-Wish organization.

“This is our third year (donating to Make-a-Wish) in which we co-sponsor with The Bellefonte Eagle Riders. All proceeds go directly to Make-a-Wish. A child in the community gets a wish just through that,” said Bill Domley, committee member of Bellefonte Cruise.

Domley also said that they donated $3,200 last year.

“It’s a big thing,” McCool added, saying that they already have a child in Centre County who will benefit from the donations for this year.

The Bellefonte Cruise was originally part of a weekend social event for teenagers during the 1960s and 1970s.

“A lot of people would come from as far as Lewistown. Bellefonte was one of the central hubs (for cruising),” McCool said.

He added that these cruises were eventually banned from towns because they caused traffic jams. Creating this annual event has helped younger generations to learn the history about these classic cruises as well giving the generation that was part of the cruises a way to relive the nostalgia of their teenage weekends.

IF YOU GO

  • What: Bellefonte Cruise
  • When: Open cruise 6-7 p.m. Friday; Sock Hop on the Diamond featuring Your Dads Friends 7:30-10:30 p.m. Friday; Car, Truck and Motorcycle Show registration 7 a.m.-noon, award ceremony 5 p.m. Saturday; Biscuit Jam 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday; Make-a-Wish Ride sign-ups 10 a.m.-noon Sunday
  • Where: Bellefonte
  • Info: www.bellefonte cruise.org
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