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McHenry County cruise night season an ideal way to celebrate summer

On May 23, I attended McHenry’s first Green Street Cruise Night for 2016, and it was a blockbuster. Finally, after what seemed like a winter that would never end (I mean frost advisories in May, come on already!), the 2016 season started. The weather was California-perfect, 80 degrees with clear and sunny skies. Add in more than 400 of the sweetest, most pristine collector cars, and you had the makings for a perfect night and a perfect start for the 2016 cruisin’ season.

As I stood next to the entrance to the community parking lot on Green Street with a huge smile on my face, I gave a small fist pump and said “Yes, finally.” The feeling was pure euphoria as muscle cars, one by one, started to roll into the parking lot, followed by hot rods of all genre, as well as customs, street machines and sports cars. Dual exhausts emitting a low rumble from cars equipped with low restriction mufflers, vibrant colors and the smell of high-test racing gas mixed with the pleasant odor of new tires that filled my nostrils – it was glorious. Then, just as I started to walk into the show, a beautifully restored 1936 Chevy two-door master sedan rolled into the event. I saw quite a few folks clap in approval as the whisper-quiet elegant classic from the fat fender era of automobiles seemed to glide into the festivities to find a parking spot.

I stopped by the show’s information trailer and talked over the night’s happenings with Shannon Letizia from Letizia Financial Dynamics of McHenry, a major sponsor and host of the Green Street Cruise. I remarked on what a great turnout they had for the inaugural cruise night of the year. She agreed and said the event was getting bigger and better year after year.

I asked her how many weeks would go by before the cruise event would see 500 entries.

“Soon, that’s for sure,” she said. “I’m positive the Aug. 22 cruise night will have that many rides in attendance.” The feature car for that date is the Corvette, and every year when the Vette is featured, cars and spectators come in droves.

Of McHenry County’s many car happenings, each one has its own unique flavor and feeling. Participants and staff look forward to the events for the variety and vibe they cultivate. The Green Street Cruise Night is one such event with an atmosphere like no other. Be sure you attend at least one this year to make your summertime collector car season complete.

2016 McHenry County cruise nights

Mondays

Green Street Cruise Night, 5 to 8 p.m. through Sept. 26, the municipal parking lot on Green Street, just off Route 120 in McHenry. Information: 815-728-0404.

Motor Mondays, 5 to 8 p.m. July 4, Aug. 1 and Sept. 5, River Street in East Dundee. Information: rudyk@sbcgobal.net.

Tuesdays

Broken Oar Cruise Night, 5 to 9 p.m., Broken Oar Restaurant, 614 Rawson Bridge Road, Cary. Information: www.brokenoar.com.

Cruzin’ the Grove, 6 to 8 p.m. through Sept. 26, Stone Hill Shopping Center parking lot, 900 W. Route 22, Fox River Grove. Music, food, drinks and cars hosted by the Fox River Grove Special Events Committee. Information: Ken Wagner, 224-244-6696.

Huntley Downtown Square Cruise Day, 5 to 8 p.m. through Sept. 6, Coral Street and the Huntley Chamber parking lot, Huntley. Information: www.huntley.il.us/calendar.asp.
Offside’s Sports Bar & Grille, 6 to 9 p.m., 680 S. Eastwood Drive, Woodstock. Information: 815-334-8700.

Wednesdays

Cary Cruise Nights, 6 to 8:30 p.m. through Aug. 31, West Main Street in downtown Cary. This is the longest-running cruise night in McHenry County. Information: www.carygrovechamber.com.

Park on Park Cruise Night, 5 to 9 p.m. second Wednesday of the month through September, 469 Seymour Ave., Mundelein. Pre-1977 vehicles only. Information: www.parkonpark.com.
Thunder Road Cruise Night, 4 to 9 p.m., Pizza House, 4216 N. Johnsburg Road, Johnsburg.

Joe’s Place Cruise Night, 5 to 9 p.m., Joe’s Place, 19716 E. Grant Highway, Marengo. Information: 815-568-2500.

Lake Zurich Cruise Nights, 6 to 9 p.m. first Wednesday of the month through October, off Church Street in downtown Lake Zurich.Thursdays

Barrington Cruise Night, 6 to 9 p.m., 208 S. Cook St., Barrington. Information: 847-304-3479.

Fridays

Maxwell’s Diner Cruise Night, 6 to 9 p.m., 551 S. Eighth St., West Dundee. Hosted by Gasoline Alley & Cruisin’ Radio, 101.5 FM. Information: 847-551-8888.

Saturdays

RU’s Saturday Morning Cruise-In, 8 a.m. to noon first Saturday of the month, Restorations Unlimited II, 304 Jandus Road, Cary. Have a cup of coffee, talk cars and see what collector rides are being restored at this premiere McHenry County total restoration shop. Information: www.ru2inc.com.

Miller’s Dog ’n’ Suds, 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., 517 Washington St., Ingleside. Information: 847-587-6808.

McHenry County car shows

June

June 26 – Randall Road House Car, Truck and Cycle Show, 9 a.m. to noon, 2267 Randall Road, Carpentersville. Information: 847-836-3300.

June 26 – Niko’s Red Mill Tavern Car Show, 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Niko’s Red Mill Tavern, 1040 Lake Ave., Woodstock.

June 26 – Wauconda Fest Car Show, 8 to 11 a.m. registration, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. public show, Cook Park, 600 N. Main St., Wauconda. Information: www.waucondaparks.org/wauconda-fest/car-show-2.

June 27 – Tom Peck’s 15th annual Classic Car and Hot Rod Show, 39900 Auto Mall Drive, Huntley. Information: mmacx@tompeckford.com.

June 27-30 – Rockford American Motors Owners Association International Convention, Tebala Shrine Center, 7910 Newburg Road, Rockford. Information: Call Cheryl at 920-674-4482 or visit www.amnational.com.

July

July 4 – Buick GS Club Car Show, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Sabatino Park, 38 Thorobred Lane, Sleepy Hollow. Information: www.july4thcarshow.com.

July 9 – Gilberts Drive-In Movie Night & Car Show, 4:30 to 9:30 p.m., Galligan Road and Route 72, Gilberts. Movie starts at dusk.

July 9 – Lake in the Hills Rockin’ Ribfest Car Show, noon to 3 p.m., Sunset Park, Lake in the Hills. Information: www.lithribfest.com or ribfest@gmail.com.

July 10 – Third annual Heritage Car Show, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., downtown Union. Information: www.mchenrycountyhistory.org or call Tony at 847-515-8110.

July 12 – McHenry County Historical Society Heritage Fair Car Show, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., downtown Union. Part of the 30th annual Heritage Fair festival. Featuring sports, classic and antique cars. Free. DJ Jose Ramos will be spinning oldies. Information: Tony at TJ’s Klassics, 847-515-8110.

July 16 – Fest on the Fox Car Show at “Otto’s,” 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., 2 E. Main St., Carpentersville. Information: Rudy at 224-587-6803.

July 16 – Muscles for Muscles Car Show, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Woodstock North High School, 3000 Raffel Road, Woodstock. Information: musclesformuscles@att.net.

July 17 – Fiesta Days Car Show, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Petersen Park, 4300 Petersen Road, McHenry. Information: www.fiestadayscarshow.com.

July 17 – Algonquin Auto Clinic car show, 2033 E. Route 62, Algonquin. Information: Jim at 847-658-3800.

July 23 – Downtown Huntley Car Show, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., next to farmers market on Church Street, Huntley.

July 24 – Gary Lang’s annual Made in the USA Classic Car Show, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Gary Lang Auto Group, 1107 Route 31, McHenry. Information: www.garylangauto.com or 815-385-2100.

July 27-30 – Rockford American Motors Owners Association International Convention, Tebala Shrine Center, 7910 Newburg Road, Rockford. Information: Cheryl ad 920-674-4482 or www.amnational.com.

August

Aug. 7 – Vintage Transport Extravaganza, Illinois Railway Museum, Union. Information: www.irm.org.

Aug. 20 – Fifth annual Parts Place Inc. Car Show and Open House, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., 630 Enterprise Ave., DeKalb. Information: sales@partsplaceinc.com or 630-365-1800.

Aug. 21 – Fradillio’s Car Show, 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Fradillio’s Hot Dogs, 2321 Algonquin Road, Algonquin. Information: Sal Fradillio at 847-854-5500 or Tony at 847-515-8110.

Aug. 28 – Geneva Concours d’ Elegance in downtown Geneva. Information: www.genevaconcours.net or 630-584-3107.

September

Sept. 2 – Elburn Fall Classic All Wheel Show, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., 500 Fillmore Ave., Elburn.

Sept. 11 – Fall Classic Rod & Custom Car Show, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Joe’s Place, 19716 Grant Highway, Marengo. Entry fee: $10. Proceeds benefit the Marengo High School auto body classes. Information: Bill at 773-491-2354.

Sept. 17 – Third annual Car Show & Hog Dog Festival, Redeemer Lutheran Church, 1320 Dean St., Woodstock. Information: carshow@rlcw.org or www.rlcw.org/carshow.html.

Sept. 18 – Beloit Autorama Car Show and Swap Meet, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., 3344 Riverside Drive, Beloit, Wisconsin. Information: www.beloitautorama.com.

Sept. 24 – Pedals for Paws Huntley Fall Fest Car Show, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Deicke Park, 11419 Route 47, Huntley. Registration 9 to 11 a.m., $15 a vehicle. Proceeds benefit Animal Services and Assistance Programs. Information: 630-673-2360 or www.asap-usa.org.

On May 23, I attended the McHenry’s first Green Street Cruise Night for 2016, and it was a blockbuster. Finally, after what seemed like a winter that would never end (I mean frost advisories in May, come on already!), the 2016 season started. The weather was California-perfect, 80 degrees with clear and sunny skies. Add in more than 400 of the sweetest, most pristine collector cars, and you had the makings for a perfect night and a perfect start for the 2016 cruisin’ season.

As I stood next to the entrance to the community parking lot on Green Street with a huge smile on my face, I gave a small fist pump and said “Yes, finally.” The feeling was pure euphoria as muscle cars, one by one, started to roll into the parking lot, followed by hot rods of all genre, as well as customs, street machines and sports cars. Dual exhausts emitting a low rumble from cars equipped with low restriction mufflers, vibrant colors and the smell of high-test racing gas mixed with the pleasant odor of new tires that filled my nostrils – it was glorious. Then, just as I started to walk into the show, a beautifully restored 1936 Chevy two-door master sedan rolled into the event. I saw quite a few folks clap in approval as the whisper-quiet elegant classic from the fat fender era of automobiles seemed to glide into the festivities to find a parking spot.

I stopped by the show’s information trailer and talked over the night’s happenings with Shannon Letizia from Letizia Financial Dynamics of McHenry, a major sponsor and host of the Green Street Cruise. I remarked on what a great turnout they had for the inaugural cruise night of the year. She agreed and said the event was getting bigger and better year after year.
I asked her how many weeks would go by before the cruise event would see 500 entries.

“Soon, that’s for sure,” she said. “I’m positive the Aug. 22 cruise night will have that many rides in attendance.” The feature car for that date is the Corvette, and every year when the Vette is featured, cars and spectators come in droves.

Of McHenry County’s many car happenings, each one has its own unique flavor and feeling. Participants and staff look forward to the events for the variety and vibe they cultivate. The Green Street Cruise Night is one such event with an atmosphere like no other. Be sure you attend at least one this year to make your summertime collector car season complete.

2016 McHenry County cruise nights

Mondays

Green Street Cruise Night, 5 to 8 p.m. through Sept. 26, the municipal parking lot on Green Street, just off Route 120 in McHenry. Information: 815-728-0404.

Motor Mondays, 5 to 8 p.m. July 4, Aug. 1 and Sept. 5, River Street in East Dundee. Information: rudyk@sbcgobal.net.

Tuesdays

Broken Oar Cruise Night, 5 to 9 p.m., Broken Oar Restaurant, 614 Rawson Bridge Road, Cary. Information: www.brokenoar.com.

Cruzin’ the Grove, 6 to 8 p.m. through Sept. 26, Stone Hill Shopping Center parking lot, 900 W. Route 22, Fox River Grove. Music, food, drinks and cars hosted by the Fox River Grove Special Events Committee. Information: Ken Wagner, 224-244-6696.

Huntley Downtown Square Cruise Day, 5 to 8 p.m. through Sept. 6, Coral Street and the Huntley Chamber parking lot, Huntley. Information: www.huntley.il.us/calendar.asp.
Offside’s Sports Bar & Grille, 6 to 9 p.m., 680 S. Eastwood Drive, Woodstock. Information: 815-334-8700.

Wednesdays

Cary Cruise Nights, 6 to 8:30 p.m. through Aug. 31, West Main Street in downtown Cary. This is the longest-running cruise night in McHenry County. Information: www.carygrovechamber.com.

Park on Park Cruise Night, 5 to 9 p.m. second Wednesday of the month through September, 469 Seymour Ave., Mundelein. Pre-1977 vehicles only. Information: www.parkonpark.com.
Thunder Road Cruise Night, 4 to 9 p.m., Pizza House, 4216 N. Johnsburg Road, Johnsburg.

Joe’s Place Cruise Night, 5 to 9 p.m., Joe’s Place, 19716 E. Grant Highway, Marengo. Information: 815-568-2500.

Lake Zurich Cruise Nights, 6 to 9 p.m. first Wednesday of the month through October, off Church Street in downtown Lake Zurich.Thursdays

Barrington Cruise Night, 6 to 9 p.m., 208 S. Cook St., Barrington. Information: 847-304-3479.

Fridays

Maxwell’s Diner Cruise Night, 6 to 9 p.m., 551 S. Eighth St., West Dundee. Hosted by Gasoline Alley & Cruisin’ Radio, 101.5 FM. Information: 847-551-8888.

Saturdays

RU’s Saturday Morning Cruise-In, 8 a.m. to noon first Saturday of the month, Restorations Unlimited II, 304 Jandus Road, Cary. Have a cup of coffee, talk cars and see what collector rides are being restored at this premiere McHenry County total restoration shop. Information: www.ru2inc.com.

Miller’s Dog ’n’ Suds, 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., 517 Washington St., Ingleside. Information: 847-587-6808.

McHenry County car shows

June

June 26 – Randall Road House Car, Truck and Cycle Show, 9 a.m. to noon, 2267 Randall Road, Carpentersville. Information: 847-836-3300.

June 26 – Niko’s Red Mill Tavern Car Show, 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Niko’s Red Mill Tavern, 1040 Lake Ave., Woodstock.

June 26 – Wauconda Fest Car Show, 8 to 11 a.m. registration, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. public show, Cook Park, 600 N. Main St., Wauconda. Information: www.waucondaparks.org/wauconda-fest/car-show-2.

June 27 – Tom Peck’s 15th annual Classic Car and Hot Rod Show, 39900 Auto Mall Drive, Huntley. Information: mmacx@tompeckford.com.

June 27-30 – Rockford American Motors Owners Association International Convention, Tebala Shrine Center, 7910 Newburg Road, Rockford. Information: Call Cheryl at 920-674-4482 or visit www.amnational.com.

July

July 4 – Buick GS Club Car Show, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Sabatino Park, 38 Thorobred Lane, Sleepy Hollow. Information: www.july4thcarshow.com.

July 9 – Gilberts Drive-In Movie Night & Car Show, 4:30 to 9:30 p.m., Galligan Road and Route 72, Gilberts. Movie starts at dusk.

July 9 – Lake in the Hills Rockin’ Ribfest Car Show, noon to 3 p.m., Sunset Park, Lake in the Hills. Information: www.lithribfest.com or ribfest@gmail.com.

July 10 – Third annual Heritage Car Show, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., downtown Union. Information: www.mchenrycountyhistory.org or call Tony at 847-515-8110.

July 12 – McHenry County Historical Society Heritage Fair Car Show, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., downtown Union. Part of the 30th annual Heritage Fair festival. Featuring sports, classic and antique cars. Free. DJ Jose Ramos will be spinning oldies. Information: Tony at TJ’s Klassics, 847-515-8110.

July 16 – Fest on the Fox Car Show at “Otto’s,” 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., 2 E. Main St., Carpentersville. Information: Rudy at 224-587-6803.

July 16 – Muscles for Muscles Car Show, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Woodstock North High School, 3000 Raffel Road, Woodstock. Information: musclesformuscles@att.net.

July 17 – Fiesta Days Car Show, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Petersen Park, 4300 Petersen Road, McHenry. Information: www.fiestadayscarshow.com.

July 17 – Algonquin Auto Clinic car show, 2033 E. Route 62, Algonquin. Information: Jim at 847-658-3800.

July 23 – Downtown Huntley Car Show, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., next to farmers market on Church Street, Huntley.

July 24 – Gary Lang’s annual Made in the USA Classic Car Show, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Gary Lang Auto Group, 1107 Route 31, McHenry. Information: www.garylangauto.com or 815-385-2100.

July 27-30 – Rockford American Motors Owners Association International Convention, Tebala Shrine Center, 7910 Newburg Road, Rockford. Information: Cheryl ad 920-674-4482 or www.amnational.com.

August

Aug. 7 – Vintage Transport Extravaganza, Illinois Railway Museum, Union. Information: www.irm.org.

Aug. 20 – Fifth annual Parts Place Inc. Car Show and Open House, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., 630 Enterprise Ave., DeKalb. Information: sales@partsplaceinc.com or 630-365-1800.

Aug. 21 – Fradillio’s Car Show, 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Fradillio’s Hot Dogs, 2321 Algonquin Road, Algonquin. Information: Sal Fradillio at 847-854-5500 or Tony at 847-515-8110.

Aug. 28 – Geneva Concours d’ Elegance in downtown Geneva. Information: www.genevaconcours.net or 630-584-3107.

September

Sept. 2 – Elburn Fall Classic All Wheel Show, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., 500 Fillmore Ave., Elburn.

Sept. 11 – Fall Classic Rod & Custom Car Show, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Joe’s Place, 19716 Grant Highway, Marengo. Entry fee: $10. Proceeds benefit the Marengo High School auto body classes. Information: Bill at 773-491-2354.

Sept. 17 – Third annual Car Show & Hog Dog Festival, Redeemer Lutheran Church, 1320 Dean St., Woodstock. Information: carshow@rlcw.org or www.rlcw.org/carshow.html.

Sept. 18 – Beloit Autorama Car Show and Swap Meet, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., 3344 Riverside Drive, Beloit, Wisconsin. Information: www.beloitautorama.com.

Sept. 24 – Pedals for Paws Huntley Fall Fest Car Show, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Deicke Park, 11419 Route 47, Huntley. Registration 9 to 11 a.m., $15 a vehicle. Proceeds benefit Animal Services and Assistance Programs. Information: 630-673-2360 or www.asap-usa.org.

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