Canby’s favorite slice of Americana will be back where it belongs later this summer, as the beloved tradition of the Cutsforth’s Cruise-In returns to Wait Park and downtown Canby next month for its 28th edition after two years at the Clackamas County Fairgrounds and Events Center.
The car show, which started in the parking lot outside Cutsforth’s Market but grew into a major tri-county event in its many years at Wait Park, was moved to a drive-thru format at the fairgrounds in 2020 due to the pandemic.
It was staged as a more traditional walk-thru event in 2021 but remained at the fairgrounds, which offered more space to spread out and socially distance than downtown Canby.
Frank Cutsforth, Cruise-In founder and owner of Cutsforth’s Market, said city leaders requested that organizers consider bringing the event back to the park because of the positive impact it has on downtown businesses, and they quickly agreed.
“Quite honestly, we were on the bubble about that already,” Cutsforth told the Current. “People really like the park setting, the quaintness of it, and pavement is a lot better than dirt or gravel for a lot of these cars. The folks at the city were all in, and we were all in.”
Cutsforth said he and the rest of the team are forever grateful for the support of the fairgrounds during the pandemic years.
“The fairgrounds did a great job for us and really helped us out in a tough spot,” he said. “We probably wouldn’t have had a car show the past couple of years if not for them. But we’ve always been a downtown business so, for me, it’s a plus to be supporting other downtown businesses.”
The Cruise-In, which also features live music, food and vendors, as well as dozens of sponsored awards, draws an estimated 600 to 800 classic cars and other vehicles and 3,000 to 5,000 attendees.
With the excitement surrounding the event’s triumphant return to Canby’s central park, Cutsforth expects both of those numbers to be at the higher end of his estimates.
“I think it’s going to be big because we’re back at the park, and people really like the park,” he said.
The biggest challenge with the comeback is parking — both for car show participants and attendees. It’s an issue organizers didn’t need to worry about at the fairgrounds — but certainly do in downtown Canby.
“Wayne Austen and a couple of our original guys will be doing parking for us, and we’ll do our darnedest to get it done right,” he said. “They’ll be working with some of the [Canby High School] baseball team, too, so hopefully, we’ll be able to train up some younger guys.”
After 28 years, several moves and a global pandemic, Cutsforth’s passion for the signature event has not waned a bit.
“I just like Canby so much, and this is one of my things I do, you know?” he said. “I’ve met so many great people through it. And I love the cars.”
The 28th annual Cutsforth’s Cruise-In will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, August 27. For information about the Cruise-In or to register, visit cutsforthscruisein.com.
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