Cruise Nite turnouts at all-time highs

Thank you to Justin Burch for his beautiful images

reprinted from Kearney HUB (posted Monday, July 22, 2013)

KEARNEY — Saturday evening would have been a perfect night to take a 1966 Mustang GT out for a spin.

That’s what Steve Hosier of Giltner would have done. He’s been coming to Cruise Nite for four years now and is just about finished restoring the car. He just gave it a candy apple red paint job.

Unfortunately, it’s not quite ready for Cruise Nite. But he’ll definitely be back next year.

“There’s something about car people,” Hosier said. “They all got everything in common.”

Cruise Nite chair Brad Kernick said turnouts were at all-time highs for many of the week’s events.

“Overall, it was an incredibly successful Cruise Nite,” Kernick said.

The show and shine downtown brought in a total of 580 vehicles, one of the largest numbers in Cruise Nite history.

The car auction was conducted in the larger, air-conditioned Exposition Building at the Buffalo County Fairgrounds for the first time. Kernick said bidding was up significantly this year with some quality vehicles and a high selling percentage.

Unlike past years, the week’s weather was ideal for cruising.

Roger Traphagan of Kearney spent Saturday afternoon at the show and shine with his 1962 Impala.

“It’s been an enjoyable day,” Traphagan, 71, said. “It’s nice to get out and see all the cars and modifications.”

This will be Traphagan’s 10th year coming downtown for Cruise Nite.

“I’ve loved cars since I was 16,” he said. “And I still want to build another.”

Bob and Midge Alfieri of Omaha spent the weekend in Kearney for the first time to see some classic cars. Although the couple is new to Cruise Nite, they’re seasoned car show visitors. “It’s been a great time,” Midge said. “There’s so much variety in the events, like the show and shine, drag races and the parade.”

They have been to a handful of shows in California and around the country.

“Kearney definitely measures up to any other show we’ve been to, very much so,” Midge said.

Kernick said the committee appreciates everyone who helped make Cruise Nite a success.

“The community really gets behind it,” Kernick said. “They love it and support it and continue it.”

The Cruise Nite cleanup Sunday morning went smoothly, too, Kernick said.

After an eventful week, classic car lovers can begin the countdown for Cruise Nite 2014.

“It’s the American dream,” Hosier said. “We’ll always have the freedom to move around.”