Around 100 drivers juxtaposed the cool, still evening air with hot, roaring engines for "Calhoun Cruise Night" on Saturday.
More than 1,000 people expressed interest on the event's Facebook page hosted by Adam Duros and Jerry Buckman, which came as a surprise to Duros even if rain earlier in the day may have kept some people away.
"I think the rain dampened a lot of people, but I think we still had over 100 cars there, so that's cool," Duros said. "I was not thinking it was going to be anything spectacular, just some friends driving the town giving the town something to look at basically. People really responded to it … Just wanted to make it a community and family-fun event, get us off of our couches."
Businesses like The Rustic, The Longhorn and Buck's Pizza, which sold pizza by the slice for the first time until it rained, were open for business as new and old hot rods, cars and trucks from Fort Calhoun, Omaha, Lincoln, Columbus and Gretna drove main street, 15th Street and the loop at Fort Atkinson. Cherry Hill Church was also open for ice cream for viewers who kept to small groups socially distanced from each other along city streets.
"Part of the reason we wanted to do this is to get some of the businesses some business, too," Duros said. "It was great to see the people getting stuff … That was a very, very big success."
Duros said everyone was respectful to the town that he saw, and he was happy to see that the Fort Calhoun Volunteer Fire Department took out its aerial truck to wave an American flag across 14th Street.
"I think we might have to make this some sort of an annual thing," Duros said. "It would be cool to have some sort of a band, something to play, a cook-off … We're just looking to get more people involved throughout the town."
Duros said a more organized event would work best without social distancing guidelines, but even with guidelines still in place for an unknown amount of time, he said another cruise night could be planned this summer or in early fall.
"Nothing's for sure," Duros said. "I liked (Saturday), it was cool. It was a good variety of cars...I wish we had Friday's weather though, I think it would have been pretty crazy."