It may have looked like a traffic jam of classic cars, trucks, roadsters, convertibles, motorcycles and even a fire truck Saturday for the first Blair Cruise Night.
The event, organized by Blair resident Matt Saunders, drew hundreds of cars — both classic and modern — that cruised along Washington Street to South Highway 30 and the roundabout before looping back on the 5.3-mile stretch of road.
“I saw other towns having them. I knew Blair kind of had a following for old cars, but I wasn't sure if anyone would show up if I put one on,” Saunders said.
By Saturday morning, more than 1,500 people on Facebook had expressed interest in the cruise.
“I figured we'd have 200 people interested and maybe 25 to 50 cars show up,” Saunders said.
While a cruise night is intended for classic cars, some chose to drive their regular vehicle, reliving memories from years' past. Saunders said he never thought the event would get as big as it did. However, with coronavirus restrictions, he suspects people just wanted to get out of the house.
“They want something to do,” he said. “They can't hang out with a lot of people right now. But we can be in our cars, we can drive around. We can reminisce the old times of 'Hey, we used to drive this loop when we were younger.'”
Saunders didn't grow up in Blair, but he said it was a tradition in his hometown to “cruise mains.”
“It was only about five or six blocks and we just did laps and laps. We wasted a lot of gas back then, but we had fun,” he said. “Whether you did it yourself or you can go and tell your kids or grandkids 'Hey, this is what we did when we were younger.'”
Blair residents — most social distancing — gathered along Washington Street to watch the display of classic and modern muscle cars. The Blair Volunteer Fire Department also raised an American flag on its aerial fire truck at the intersection of 16th and Washington streets.
Saunders, who cruised in his 2006 Chevrolet Impala, said he is working on a second cruise night in the future.