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‘Cruisin’ Grand’ Returns To Escondido
Friday, June 18, 2021
Photo by Guillermo Sevilla
Classic cars return to Grand Avenue in Escondido Friday for Cruisin’ Grand.
The classic car and hot rod rally is in its 21st year.
Last year would have been the event's 20th anniversary, but the stay-at-home order put a pause on the event.
Bob and Nancy Enlow, an Escondido couple, own a 1957 Chevy Handyman Wagon and a 1959 Chevy Impala.
“We used to go before we had cars and I would say ‘Look at all them old guys. They have nice cars.’ So we're one of the old guys now!” Bob said.
The couple has been driving their classics to Cruisin’ Grand for the past 6 years. Nancy said they were disappointed the event got cancelled last year due to the pandemic.
“It helped the city of Escondido, it helped the businesses downtown. It brought more people in from all over, not just local people, so we missed it a lot,” she said.
The Enlows are grateful that Steve Waldron, the event’s founder and organizer, has made Cruisin’ Grand's return possible.
“It means a lot to us older people with classic cars. Every once in a while you go to a car show. But at Cruisin’ Grand, you get to see your friends all the time and you made new friends,” Bob said.
Local businesses in the Downtown area are also glad Cruisin' Grand returns as it is an event they looked forward to for added business.
Diana Gil, the manager of Filippi's Pizza Grotto on Grand said she’s excited about the crowds the event may bring in. In the past, opening night has drawn from 600 to 800 classic cars to the event.
“We’re super excited. But at the same time kinda nervous because we are understaffed, like a lot of restaurants right now. But we are looking forward to it, and I just hope people are really nice and understanding that we’re going to do the best we can,” Gil said.
In order to accommodate the outdoor patios for the many restaurants along Grand Avenue, the event's return comes with some adjustments.
Unlike before, there won’t be any cruising down the avenue because of the k-rails and outdoor dining patios currently set up in the downtown area.
Instead, Grand Avenue will be closed to car traffic between Escondido Boulevard and Ivy. Maple, Broadway, Kalmia and Juniper Streets will be closed from Second Avenue to Valley Parkway.
But the blocked off area will allow visitors to get an up close look at the parked classic cars being showcased. The free family event starts at 4 p.m. every Friday through September 24.
Visitors will be able to enjoy classic cars, live bands, a DJ, and a kettle corn booth.
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