A Main Street McMinnville Cruise-In will be held this Saturday with vendors, a swap meet, and live music on Court Square from 3 to 8 p.m.
“This is something we have been trying to bring downtown for years and we are excited about it,” said Main Street McMinnville executive director Carla King. “Downtown is where this event belongs.”
Main Street McMinnville is coordinating the event with The Car Guys — David Burch (Killer), Doug Merriman (Geese), and Gary Lorance (Duece). While The Car Guys oversee the cruise-in, Main Street McMinnville will arrange vendors and entertainment.
The event is about getting together, relaxing and talking about old cars, says Burch. The goal is to get 200 cars for the first event.
“Most towns have a cruise-in once a month,” he said. “It’s always the same Saturday of the month. It gives people with old cars a chance to get together, have a good time, and look at each other’s cars.”
Burch says the event is geared toward family fun. It will include a performance from The Jack Holland Band at 4 p.m.
“Any vehicle and every vehicle is welcome,” he said. “There is no charge to bring your car and show it off during the cruise-in. This is a family oriented event. We want everyone to come out, bring a lawn chair and have a leisurely time.”
There will be a minimal fee for vendor spaces. Anyone interested in taking part in the swap meet or having a vendor space can call 506-5335.
Lorance said it’s his hope to return cruise-ins to prominence on Court Square.
“Back in the ’40s and ’50s, this was the hangout on Friday and Saturday nights,” said Lorance. “There would be a car show here every weekend. Those who would pull in and couldn’t get their car started again would get a jump start down that hill,” he said pointing to the big hill on Depot Street between the Chamber and Hoover & Son Insurance.
Nicknames of The Car Guys is somewhat misleading, especially that of Burch with “Killer.”
“I was given that name by some of the guys I worked with a Carrier,” said Burch. “Everybody had a nickname. I drove a forklift and we had to run really hard to get our job done. One of the boys said ‘You better watch him because he’s liable to kill you.’ I was called Killer from then on.”
It should be noted Burch never hurt anyone on a forklift.
McMinnville officials approved the partial closing of Court Square around the courthouse and use of The Lot. Main Street will remain open.
Current plans are to offer a Main Street McMinnville Cruise-In the first Saturday of every month.