Article Contributed by
Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce
The Jamestown Cruise-In has been an annual staple for 28 years. For many community members, the canceling of this beloved event last summer was one more disappointment in a year of isolation. Community feedback has already shown this classic car show has been sorely missed.
Organized by the Jamestown Area Chamber of Commerce, the event is scheduled for August 6 from 5 to 10 PM. Community members will have the chance to view over 150 classic cars, souped-up vehicles, and contemporary cars, parked along downtown starting at Washington and Third, and covering Spring, Pine and N. Main between Fourth and Second Streets.
Dan Heitzenrater, Chamber President, is proud to see the event return. “The early excitement shows how much the community missed events like this last year. We are excited to again partner with Der Kobblers for the return of the Cruise-In and look forward to similar events that drive foot traffic to our downtowns.”
Live music from the In Crowd will entertain the length of the event. The Jamestown Chamber of Commerce will also host a 50/50 raffle. Community members are encouraged to grab a bite to eat from the Jamestown Babe Ruth World Series, which will be offering hotdogs, hamburgers, pizza, chips and water/soda as a fundraiser for their games, starting August 14. The Babe Ruth food tent will be located on the corner of Third and N. Main.
For the Love of Cars
While the community has shown their excitement, one group is beyond trilled for the event’s return. The Der Kobblers Automobile Association is excited to welcome back the Cruise In and continue their participation as an essential partner.
The Der Kobblers are a ‘hot rod’ club based out of Falconer, NY. Established in 1958 the group has hosted and participated in a variety of car shows throughout the decades. The Jamestown Cruise In has always held a special place in their heart. Sam Ognibene, associated with the Der Kobblers, expresses his enthusiasm at being a part of this year’s event once again.
“We are happy to be able to have it again and are looking forward to seeing all of the cars and people again.” Sam says. The Der Kobblers began meeting again in January, after a year away from the car shows they love. “We tried to have a little show in Falconer around Memorial Day weekend, but it rained. But we have been meeting once a month this year.”
Per the Der Kobblers, the Jamestown Cruise-In, like other classic and hot rod car shows, attract car owners from all over the country. It is not rare to find cars from as far as the mid-west, or Ohio, and parts of the Northeast coast. Car shows, attracting thousands per year, were another unfortunate casualty of social distancing and closures.
A car show provides an opportunity for individuals from all areas, interests, and walks of life to showcase their valuable and unique cars and trucks, embracing a hobby that highlights the vehicles for the community.
“We do it because it’s a chance, as these car owners invest a lot of time and money into their vehicles, it’s a chance for them to get out, and show them off. It means a lot [to have that opportunity].”
All cars will have a ‘Dash Plate’ showcasing their year, make, model and other interesting information. Community members will have the chance to view the vehicles, meet with the owners, and learn about the vehicle’s unique features.
The Jamestown Cruise-In typically hosts a variety of vendors and community groups in addition to the display of classic cars. However, with the shorter timeframe to organize this year’s event, and uncertainty surrounding pandemic guidelines earlier in the year, the event will not host outside vendors. However, the Chamber encourages community members to explore downtown and the businesses lined along the area of the event.
Area businesses are encouraged to stay open for the event, with extended hours. Businesses such as ART Cloth + Craft, the Biodome Project, Brindle Barn Co., Dot’s Gift Boutique, Chautauqua Soap Co., and the Liquid Monkey all have hours overlapping the event. The Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame and Studio D Catering will be open with extended hours. Community members can grab a bite to eat at various restaurants, including the Cherry Lounge.
The Chamber sees the Cruise-In event as a chance to discover all that downtown has to offer, and an opportunity for community to invest in local following a difficult year; the hope being inspiring community members to continue to visit downtown beyond the one-night event.
All Cars Welcome
All car collectors are invited to show off their vehicles, be it an antique car, hot-rod, or contemporary vehicle.
Cars can be pre-registered online through the chamber’s calendar of events at chautauquachamber.org or can register on site. All vehicle registrations are $10. Advance registration is strongly encouraged. All cars must enter the cruise-in at the corner of Third and Spring streets, with check-in beginning at 4 p.m. Third Street will be closed starting at 3 p.m. for set up.
The Jamestown Cruise-In is proudly sponsored by Ahlstrom Schaeffer Electric Co.; M&T Bank; Media One Group; Elegant Edibles; Lakeshore Paving; and the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce.