Last Cruise raises money for Youth Service Bureau

The Last Cruise wasn’t just a car show for Ed and Charlene Friedman — they got into character.

Ed Friedman donned a white ice cream man outfit, complete with the hat, bow tie and change holder, even passing out ice cream to people checking out his 1929 ice cream truck.

He has been taking the truck to car shows ever since he got it at an auction in Hershey.

“I saw it advertised in the auction brochure, and I had to have it,” he said Sunday.

It was his first time with the antique vehicle at the Last Cruise, an annual show sponsored by the Centre County Youth Service Bureau that raises funds for the organization. The show is followed by a 90-minute “cruise” in downtown State College, where participants drive up and down College and Beaver Avenues to show off their cars.

Cruising was outlawed in town in the 1980s because it caused traffic backups, but the ban is lifted once a year for the event.

The event is getting back to its roots this year, just including the downtown State College show and the cruise, YSB CEO Andrea Boyles said, adding the turnout was strong.

“I’m really impressed by the turnout,” she said. “We want this to be not just a fundraiser, but a give-back to the community,”

In total, 52 cars were included in the invite-only show, and children’s activities were held in Sidney Friedman Park.

One of those vehicles, a 1970 Dodge Challenger, belongs to David Force, who made the trip from Indiana, Pa., to participate in the show.

Force had an old Challenger back in the 1970s, but recently got an itch to get a new one.

After searching all over for the car he wanted, his son found one and the family surprised him with it. Force said he was in shock when he saw it and has happily been taking it to shows ever since.

He said he made the two-hour drive to State College because he loves the area and thinks it’s a great show.

“When you walk up through here you get the goosebumps because this really is the best of the best,” he said.

Judging was broken into six classes, with a team of judges providing one set of awards. A spectator vote, which cost $1 to cast, was also counted. The event raised money through sponsorships and the fan voting.