Council Clears Way for Another Cruise Night
The city geared up for summer this week as the council approved funding for the annual Cruise Night, a July showcase of classic cars and musical guests.
The council voted to continue the Cruise Night tradition after hearing proposals on how to ease costs for the annual auto program. The event will be Glendale’s fifth Cruise Night, and is expected to draw as many as 35,000 spectators.
The program, free to the public, has become one of Glendale’s most popular civic events. Drivers creep along Brand Boulevard in their four-wheeled treasures against a backdrop of music and magic acts.
Much to the delight of local business owners, crowds for the show have ballooned since the 1994 inaugural cruise.
Cruise Night organizers hope to accommodate more guests by expanding the route from three blocks to four. The move will also allow more drivers to participate.
Though many Glendale residents consider the event a young but indispensable tradition, some council members at a meeting Tuesday balked at the cost, which approached $44,000 this year.
The city has been searching for ways to economize. “The changes are all enhancements to the program, as well as a way to cut costs,” said Nello Iacono, Glendale’s director of Parks, Recreation and Community Services.
The show will end one hour earlier than usual, not only cutting personnel expenses but also allowing drivers, many of whom come from outside Glendale, to return at a reasonable time, Iacono said.
The entertainment will be split next year between sound stages, instead of all at a single venue.
“This way we’re spreading the entertainment and spreading the energy around a larger area of the event,” Iacono said.
Local merchants were pleased with the planning.
Lawrence “Moe” Elliott, owner of the Glendale Damon’s restaurant, supported the changes.
Elliott estimated that he draws at least 20% more business during the program. Damon’s, located on Brand, serves as a shortcut between the city parking lot and the festivities.
“Having people walking through our place really helps us. They get a chance to see the food, smell the food, and when they get hungry, they come back,” he said. “I’m one of those folks that would like to have four of these things a year.”