EVERETT — Downtown will be crammed with classic cars and hot rods Sunday and Monday thanks to dozens of volunteers who saved the Cruzin’ to Colby car show from cancellation.
Late last year, the show’s sponsor, the Seattle Rod-Tiques car club, pulled the plug on the annual event. Two longtime Everett business owners, Joel Starr and Dale Newman, jumped in to keep the show alive. Starr, former owner of Everett’s now-closed Flying Pig Restaurant on Colby Avenue, helped start the event 18 years ago.
First, the pair tried to find local groups to help sponsor the event. But they had no luck. With no options left, “we just said, ‘We’re doing this,’” Starr said. “We reached out to friends, who reached out to friends.”
The steering committee of about 20 people had its first meeting 10 weeks ago. Since then committee members and a few dozen more volunteers have been hustling to keep the cars cruising this Memorial Day weekend.
Already 300 car owners have registered online. That is far more early registrations than in years past, Starr said.
In all, more than 800 cars are expected to appear in the show, which typically draws at least 5,000 spectators. The weather greatly influences the size of the crowd that comes out to see the gleaming, tricked-out and souped-up cars. After a soggy winter and with warm, sunny weather forecast for the weekend, Cruzin’ to Colby could draw record-high crowds, he said.
The event’s biggest crowd came in 2009, when more than 10,000 people flocked to downtown Everett for the 10th anniversary show.
“We expect to crush that” this year, with the number of spectators expected to push 15,000, Starr said.
More than 10 percent of early registrations so far are from out-of-state car owners. “They are coming out of the woodwork,” he said. “There are going to be some cars that are just going to turn heads.”
Starr, though, drives a Chevy Silverado pickup. “I’m not a big car guy,” the restaurateur said.
After reading in The Daily Herald in December that the Seattle Rod-Tiques did not plan on organizing the event this year, Starr jumped in “for love of the car owners,” he said. The show “means too much to too many people,” including business owners and the charities benefiting from the event.
Starr and other event organizers are talking to local groups to sponsor future shows. They want to avoid a scramble next year, he said. “We are building a model for organizing the show and documenting every step.”
Cruzin’ to Colby aims to raise $20,000 to be evenly divided among three organizations: Camp Fire Snohomish County, Providence Hospice and Home Care of Snohomish County, and Snohomish County Football Officials Association Hall of Fame, which provides college scholarships to local student-athletes. The groups are providing volunteers for the event in return for the contributions.
“With the sun shining and good weather, we could raise $5,000 or $6,000,” said Scott Pattison, president of the football officials association. “That is a substantial amount of money for our nonprofit.”
Dan Catchpole: 425-339-3454; email@example.com. Twitter: @dcatchpole.
Cruzin’ to Colby
The Cruzin’ to Colby car show is scheduled for May 28-29 in downtown Everett. A controlled cruise will be 1-5 p.m. May 28, followed by the “show-and-shine” car show 9 a.m.-4 p.m. May 29. A sock-hop dance featuring the Wright Brothers Band is planned for 6-10 p.m. May 28, at Tony V’s Garage, 1716 Hewitt Ave. To learn more or get involved, visit cruzin2colby.com or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.